I think this is what they call going native.

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    The story of how this got worse starts in a bit.

    Here, in the middle of a 16 day outing in Kuala Lumpur, things that once looked crazy to me are starting not to see so crazy, at least until I return to the hotel room and am once again reminded, objectively, of how crazy things are.

    I succumbed to a supposedly ancient Chinese therapy known as cupping, when they attach Matrix-like suction devices to your back and then abandon you in a poorly wallpapered room for 10 minutes.

    The process supposed to remove the "wind toxins" from my body, which is a good thing since I didn't realize I had any of those and I certainly appreciated the opportunity to remove them forthwith.

    As you can see in the first picture, the red blood welts are not dissimilar in color, swelling, and pain from a serious car accident.

    As you can see in the second picture, something went horribly wrong, most notably my lack of understanding Cantonese. I managed to compound my first mistake by at least one order of magnitude. Here is the story:

    I went to Malaka to do some exploration and it started to rain, so I dove into a little Chinese massage place to pass the time. It's hard to pass up a $15 hour-long massage. After my previous experience, I told them I just wanted a massage, and none of the suction cup stuff. The woman nodded absently then sent me upstairs where another Chinese woman was positively aghast at the condition of my back. She said, "NO NO NO - ALL WRONG! ALL WRONG!" I said, "I KNOW I KNOW". Then she said, "I FIX IT I FIX IT!" Then I said, "NO WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" and she went out of the room and I could hear a bunch of glass clanking violently together.

    She said, "THIS THIS??, showing me a big box of glass bulbs about the size of softballs. I said yes, and she indicated for me to lie down. I thought she was simply asking me if that was what they did at the previous place, and it was similar but with plastic cups and suction pumps. I didn't realize she was about to do something much worse until I heard her light a flaming stick, igniting some kind of gaseous oily substance in the glass bulb then slamming it down on my back, where it stuck like a poison dart. I couldn't figure out how to say, "Burning Pain combined with suction pain please stop." in Chinese so, tried to crane my neck around to see what she was doing to me...

    Pop pop pop, then three more were on me before I could do anything. The pain and suction was so diffused and all over, I could not even think about telling her what part hurt. I tried to get up, and the glass bulbs clanked all around, like when you try to move a Christmas tree after its already been decorated. As soon as I moved, she screamed, "NO MOVE! DANGER DANGER!", so then I froze still, while burning in a netherworld of vacuumed pain.

    That fun lasted for a good while. After I got done, I gingerly made my way downstairs and the lady at the front counter warned me not to take a shower for a day. I was like, "why?" and she looked at me seriously and whispered, "Danger."

    susan_r4, Mitamada, Doly Han, and 23 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. visithra 101 months ago | reply

      oh dear that looks painful - i have never dared try the acupuncture - but light bulbs?? first time im hearing that

    2. Sande JL 101 months ago | reply

      and i was envious of your traveling to all these great exotic places....now I think I will be happy with following your travels via your photography

    3. angelificatus 101 months ago | reply

      I like the concept of taking bad toxins out of our body .....
      but..that looked painful..(!)
      (first glance ,esp. first photo.. for a second...I thought ,waaah! side effect from hila monster?) (^_^)
      Wonderfully done, these photos..! Wow!
      I hope you're recovered nicely ~*~*~*

    4. Fiora 101 months ago | reply

      So....Did it work?

    5. l8sunrise [deleted] 101 months ago | reply

      hee hee hee! ;D Fabulous! Just fabulous!

    6. Lumatic 101 months ago | reply


      now we all know the root of the saying "that sucks"...

      GREAT STORY !!!

    7. ~Xtinalicious 101 months ago | reply

      Your "wtf" face says it all. I hope the treatment worked.

    8. jangky 100 months ago | reply

      So amazing photo and the strory too!!

    9. Go Big Red 99 months ago | reply

      Cupping is good for you. You are now more healthy and wise.

    10. rustblack [deleted] 99 months ago | reply

      That's the funniest travel story ever. Love your expression in the first photo. I was laughing the whole time reading this.

      There is one thing that is curious. You stopped off at a "massage" parlor and walked away with "body hickeys" and we're to believe this story about medicinal cupping? Nice try, mister.

    11. l8sunrise [deleted] 99 months ago | reply

      OMG!!! The last two comments were hilarious! ;D This is still one of the greatest photos ever!!!

    12. 3rd foundation 98 months ago | reply

      I still laugh everytime I see this image. I saw Iron Monkey a few weeks ago and they did cupping in the movie. When I told everyone what they were doing on screen, they turned to me and said "what is cupping". I then, of course, dug out this image as a prime example of cupping. ;-)

    13. sanranros 88 months ago | reply

      or you just got a TON of hickeys from a giant girl and you made that story ALL up...

    14. J4NETTE [deleted] 86 months ago | reply

      HAHA brilliant yet I am soooooo sorry... hope you have healed by now. *hugs*

    15. gLiTTeRb☺i® 86 months ago | reply

      ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! :x

    16. dhaval202 76 months ago | reply

      ouchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!....... It hearts, it should cure you. massage and natural therapy should help.

    17. TRANIMAGING 49 months ago | reply

      just admit you are an alien hybrid, your hdr skillz are great thought

    18. bockal 37 months ago | reply

      My husband had the same thing done to him in China! I love your photos and Pins on pinterest, but where is the love for Australia? :)


    19. jivanijeyasingam 10 months ago | reply

      This is an interesting story. Would love to publish it on our website, www.expatgomalaysia.com. Could you get back to me at jivani@theexpatgroup.com please?

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