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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pamper Yourself

Living abroad takes its toll.

You'd be surprised how much energy is spent just taking care of "the small stuff" when you don't speak the language, let alone understand The System.

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised at the results of an informal survey I conducted a few years ago, asking my expat friends the "Ten Best Things to Do" in the South China city where I live.

A large percentage of respondents--male and female, from their 20s to their 50s--mentioned massage (including foot massage), manicure, and other things that I never would have thought of.

The lesson is clear: When the stress hits the fan, pamper yourself.

When my wife and I travel, one of the things I look for in a hotel is a bath. I have lived in several apartments here, and not one of them had a bathtub, only showers.

Ah, a bath…

When I was walking through Japan back in 2001, a long day on the road was best capped off by a stay in a temple with a piping hot bath (usually with other naked men--never mind that), a veg meal, and a big fluffy futon.

Austerity by day, pampering by night.

So look around. What's substandard? Bathing facilities? Your mattress? Recreational opportunities? The company you keep?

Or do you just need a massage, a fine meal, a manicure?

Find a space where you could stand to be pampered, and make it so.

You'll be happier.

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