Massage to India

Last night, I refused to be haggled down on my rates by an existing client (who always freaking tries it on – was hoping he’d stop calling), and he chose not to book. People, if you take home over $300K a year, do NOT bargain with a personal service professional who makes a rather pathetic fraction of that amount and whose rates are already very reasonable by Manhattan standards. Now, I’ve had a rough couple of months income-wise, and it was hard turning away what was still a decent amount of money…but for the first time in way too long, I was rewarded for indulging in a bit of self-respect: I got an even better client at the same hour Mr. Cheapo wanted, and then I heard from yet another existing client at a nearby hotel. I earned the same in a single day as I’ve earned in my worst weeks (hah, most of October). Of course, I’m a bit wiped out today. Yawwwn…

tajmahal1Back to the odd title of this post…
I mentioned in my tidbits about my Thanksgiving sublet plans (which went just fine, by the way) that I had chosen to forego plans for an exotic 10-day trip in favor of saving my pennies for a rainy, um, year. The detail I left out was the destination: Rajasthan, India (the area around New Delhi – Jaipur – Agra/Taj Mahal). Now, the distance between Bombay and New Delhi is about the same as New York City-Atlanta, but somehow I don’t think my mother would have found that much comfort had I actually been over there. As for my sisters…well, they think I’m some kind of secret CIA-spy-Black Ops agent because of my martial arts background, my language skills, my two passports, and a profession that conveniently explains the comings and goings of strangers at all hours. Had I actually taken that trip instead of topping up my Roth IRA, I guarantee you there would have been a flurry of emails asking if “Indian commando” was the media euphemism for an American spygirl with a tomahawk and no underpants.

Then last night, I gave a very late anti-jetlag massage to a senator from India (repeat client) in his hotel suite. He’s in town for a one-day conference that was supposed to be about something else, but after the slaughter in Bombay last week, will focus on anti-terrorism instead. I had no desire to pretend I have any more than a rudimentary understanding of Indian-Pakistani tensions, and it’s not a terribly relaxing topic of conversation anyway, so I just made a little chit-chat about the Rockefeller Center tree lighting earlier that evening. I told him about how I sent my mom and brother to check out the tree on Christmas Eve last year while I did some last-minute wrapping, and they came back all confused – the area was packed out with Japanese tourists, Indians in saris, Arabs in scarves and robes, Jews in yarmulkes, you name it. My mom remarked “I don’t understand the appeal – they’re not Christian, it’s not their holiday, why are they out celebrating?” The senator laughed, and then I had to go and get all philosophical: “I think it says great things about this world and this city”. So he proceeded to ask about the intangible sentiments circulating in the wake of our historic election. I really suck at keeping things light and fluffy. Maybe I should dye my hair blonde and hope it seeps into the brain…?


One Response

  1. Ahhh… I love your post. Your sense of humor on day to day events. lol!

    And congrats on pulling stronger clients than el cheapo! Well done.

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