Monday, November 06, 2006

the Egyptian masseuse

Our group stayed in a lovely four-star hotel in Cairo:

On the first day, while I was lying by the pool, a good-looking Egyptian young man came up to advertise the hotel's massages. It was only $30 US for a 50-minute massage, so I signed up.

We chatted while he was giving me the massage, and he told me a moving story about his love life. He just broke up with his girlfriend of two years, he said, who he loved very much. One year into their relationship, he approached her father to ask for her hand in marriage. The father replied that his daughter would need a new flat after her wedding, plus new furniture, an automobile.

The masseuse said that he has a small flat, and he could buy new furniture. But it wasn't good enough for the father, who rejected him.

The masseuse dated his girlfriend in secret after that. He claims they did "everything", even though Muslim religion forbids premarital sex. Last month, another man asked his girlfriend's father for permission to marry her. This man is ten years older, and already has the flat, money, car. The father said yes.

"Refuse the other man," said the masseuse to his girlfriend, "and wait for me." But she said she could not persist against her father, and the two of them haven't talked since.

"Are you worried that she's already gotten married to him during this past month?" I said.

He stopped massaging me for a few seconds, and I imagined him thinking, "Well, now I am!"

Later in the hour, he told me that my body is similar to his girlfriend's body, and that giving me a massage reminds him of her and was making him very emotional.

I told this story to cynical ol' Dan, who claimed there is only 10% chance of it being true. The other 90% probability is that it's completely fabricated in an attempt to seduce tourist women. (In case you were wondering, I did NOT do anything with the masseuse. Because that would be sketchy. And I already used up my sketchiness quota for the summer.)

Dan suggested we send in Julie or Mingjing for a massage, to see if he tells every woman that their body is like his ex's body. But we didn't get around to it.

I prefer the version where he's a young man in love, structuring his whole life so that he can marry his girlfriend. It's romantic, especially considering the US stereotypes of commitphobes trying desperately to evade marriage.

UPDATE: All the comments so far point toward the masseur being a liar. You are probably right.

It is unnerving, because he revealed many details about his girlfriend. He spoke with pride about how he saw her every day, and he emanated embarrassment when he revealed that her family is more wealthy than his.

But at one point during the massage, I asked him how often he uses the computer (always doing market research!). He said 5 hours per day. I asked what he does online, and he said video chat with friends from England, Florida, Europe. I asked whether these "friends" are female tourists he massaged during their Egypt vacations, and he said yes. So ... that's pretty damning.


Lori said...

I think if he really love his girlfriend,he don't told you that your body is similar to his girlfriend's body at that moment.I'm BS the massage even though its really.

KE Liew said...

I think you made him disappointed. Haha :)

Horsey said...

Good story. I believe the Egyptian was lying though.

I travel a lot, and I've spent some time in majority-Muslim countries. The rate of pre-marital sex is very low in these countries, but for some reason the people that work in the tourist industries in these countries always have elaborate stories to tell about their sexual encounters.

There are two possibilities. One is that those that work in the tourist industry are more promiscuous than their average fellow countryman. But the other possibility is that they are no more promiscuous than their comrades, but feel that since we come from a "promiscuous" culture ourselves, we will not feel that they are proper men if they do not tell us such stories about themselves.

Then again, I am a man, and perhaps they only try to "impress" other men with "sexy" tales. In which case you were told a true story.

Wow, what a waste of time my comment was--you are no closer to figuring out if the guy was lying now.

bene said...

It's "masseur" for male and "masseuse" for female. Gave me a serious double-take reading "I did NOT do anything with the masseuse."

As for the story? It was told, it was moving, and it had impact. The veracity doesn't have to come in to play, since you made no decisions based on the assumption of truth or falsehood.

Treat it as true and that time and that moment is yours to keep. Think of it as a lie and you only rob yourself of that moment.

anagram hill said...

Hello Nin. Anyone who thinks for a second that the massewer was spewing anything other than horseshit is extraordinarily naive! Are there no creeps in Mountain View to hone your pathetic-pick-up-line-detection-skills on?

Anonymous said...

So, he's not allowed to have pre-marital sex, and he's a strict Muslim, but his family has no problem with him rubbing naked women for a living.

N, my dear, I've got some fabulous oceanfront property in Montana. You have GOT to check it out!

Anonymous said...

I use that line ALL the time, while massaging my female clients. Gets 'em every time!

Anonymous said...

I had a massage in cairo, he was very good, lots of chatter, when he started touching my breasts I felt the massage was a little out of the ordinary....

Massage turns me on at the best of times, but this young eygptian rubbing oil into my nipples ...well I just relaxed and enjoyed the whole experience!!!

Hefty said...

You can come anytime and get a massage from me.

Sarah said...

Okay, I'm Egyptian, I live in Cairo. That guy was trying to get some, and I would bet you 20LE he says that to all his female clients.
Egyptian men are horny, haven't you noticed your getting chased down the streets by all the whisteling and the singing? Even the extremely low-ranked soldiers do it!

Anonymous said...

Anybody saying that the egyptians refrain from sex before marriage has not spent long time in Cairo. Sure this guy was horny, and so are most of the egyptian girls. The young unmarried want to gain experience before marriage, and a lot of the marriaged women want sex too because the husband often treat them bad or is working far from the home. Great times for me as a Scandinavian living here in Cairo now for the 3. year.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Does all Egyptian masseurs hit on their female tourist clients? I wonder, any female tourist has similar story?

Amr said...

its all crap he tries to get your sympathy first and then turn u on by doing the massage and saying u remind him of his gf or u have the same body:) having premarital sex is now common specially among younger generations on all levels of society

Anonymous said...

Where can i get an erotic massage in any hotel in cairo? and how much should i pay for how long? i prefer it being somewhere in nasr city or new cairo or masr el gdida
please answer!!