Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Massaging For Good

About 12 seconds after crossing the finish line of the Half Ironman, Rebecca and I frantically raced the four hours to Salt Lake City so I could pack my things and make it to the airport for my 24 hours of scheduled flying.

As it turned out, all four legs of my travel were delayed substantially and by the time I made it to my final destination, and including the drive from St. George to Salt Lake City, I had been on the move for nearly 48 hours. Add to that that I didn't get a wink of sleep anywhere during those 48 hours because I WAS SCREAMING THROUGH THE AIR IN A METAL TUBE AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT OVER THE SAME OCEAN THAT SUNK THE TITANIC.

You guys. I don't have a problem. People who can sleep on planes have the problem.

I rolled into Dubrovnik Croatia in the middle of the night on . . . Monday? Tuesday? February 2070? I'm not totally sure what time or day it is anymore. All I know is that every time I get near wifi I have 2,000 new emails from people at work that start with "WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!" So I think that means it's a week day right now.


When the sun pierced the sky only a few hours after I arrived in Dubrovnik, I wandered into the old historic part of town to eat absolutely every item of food in it until The Red Cross was called to bring in provisions for the starving locals.

I sat down at a small cafe that had wifi so I decided to check in. After I panicked at the 2,000 "WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!" work emails, I decided to google "massage Dubrovnik reputable."

It took me way too many experiences in foreign countries to figure out the importance of the last word in that search.

For the past few months life has been a little heavy for me. And in recent weeks I've felt a great amount of stress and strain in every corner of my life. By the time I made it to the half Ironman on Saturday, I had gotten to a point where my neck and back felt like I was carrying a heavy backpack at all times. Five and a half hours of intense competition followed by 48 hours of traveling and carrying a literal backpack around didn't help with this sensation either.

I had half a day to kill before my friends Kimberly and Tyler would show up and meet me in Dubrovnik so this seemed like a perfect time for a massage. So I googled.

And I found Janet.

Janet had phenomenal reviews online. It sounded like she had magical powers. For a brief moment I had to double check that I wasn't reading the plot of Mary Poppins.

The Internet explained that in order to get an appointment with Janet, one had to call or email. So I emailed.

To: Janet
From: Eli
Subject: Massage, ASAP

Janet,

I found you online and you have wonderful reviews. I'm at a cafe down the street from your location. Any chance you can fit me in right away?

Eli

To: Eli
From: Janet
Subject: Re: Massage, ASAP

I am massege. Theres today but next!!! :)!

To: Janet 
From: Eli
Subject: Re: Massage, ASAP

Ok . . . so you are free today? Should I come by? How about 11:15?

To: Eli
From: Janet
Subject: Re: Massage, ASAP

What about for it? Happy with for massaging!

To: Janet 
From: Eli
Subject: Re: Massage, ASAP

Ok. I'll come at 11:15. Yes? No?

To: Eli
From: Janet
Subject: Re: Massage, ASAP

Dear Eli,

Yes to massaging for good because nice you sleep have for water! Good today!

Janet


I decided that this was close enough to a confirmation, so shortly thereafter I made my way down a tiny Dubrovnik alley to her location. To my surprise and relief, Janet was standing out front, smiling, and waiting for me. But even more to my surprise and relief:

Janet: Hi! Are you Eli?

Eli: I am . . . are you Janet?

Janet: Yup. I'm glad you were able to come at this time. It just so happened that I had an available slot for right now. Most of the rest of my day is completely booked.

Eli: Wow. Your English is . . . good?

Janet: I hope so! I'm Canadian. I live in Toronto part-time and here in Dubrovnik part-time.

I was totally confused. I know that some people aren't great writers. But come on, Janet.

The greatest massage in the entire world then happened and I sort of forgot about the confusing email exchange until we had a conversation right before I left.

Janet: Your back and neck are more tense than anyone I've seen in years. Have you experienced severe trauma recently.

Eli: Yes. MY DATING LIFE.

Janet: Well I'm glad you came in.

Eli: I'm glad I found you! That massage was awesome.

Janet: How did you find me, anyway?

Eli: I found your email on google.

Janet: You emailed me?

Eli: Yes . . . and you responded.

Janet: Ah. That makes sense. My friend Nika called me to tell me she had set up an appointment for me. Sometimes she accidentally checks my email and then responds to people if she feels it can't wait.

Because it seemed like Janet might appreciate it, I pulled out my phone and read her the entire exchange. By the end of my dramatic reading, we were both laughing so hard we had tears coming out of our eyes.

Janet: Yeah. Nika tries to be helpful, but her attempts at identity theft are rarely very convincing.

Zagreb, Croatia.


Zagreb, Croatia.

Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Pre-massage fatigued selfie with eye wrinkles. 

Dubrovnik by night.
~It Just Gets Stranger

24 comments:

  1. WHY ARE YOU IN CROATIA???

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  2. WHY ARE YOU IN CROATIA???

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  3. I about peed from laughter at your email exchange, then to find out she's Canadian! Still laughing! And so jealous, I was just telling my husband last week we need to visit Croatia. I heard it described as Italy and the South of France had a baby . And named it Croatia. I guess I didn't exactly hear it explained like that, but, you know.

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  4. I live about 3 hours from Toronto. And, I need Janet! Do you suppose she does massages in Canada, too???? Because, I will so book that appointment right this minute!

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  5. This is crazy, but I saw you today!! I am in Dubrovnik with my family, and I saw you(r hair) from our cab this morning. Now I regret never commenting before, but I've been reading since your Palau days. Oh my gosh, you should come swim at our pool at the house we're staying at! We won't even say anything about Tammi, promise. Also, we NEED Janet's contact info! donnabardsleyatgmaildotcom. Seriously, let's meet up!

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    1. Yes Eli meet up with her! It's not like she's been stalking you and "just happened" to end up in a different country at the same time as you. It's not like she's going to hang your body and drain your blood into her tub. It's not like she just wants to wear your skin...

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    2. LOL...Donna Bardsley is my cousin! Promise she is not crazy...ok, maybe a little, but we love her anyway. You should totally meet up with her and her lil' family.

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  6. This is crazy, but I saw you today!! I am in Dubrovnik with my family, and I saw you(r hair) from our cab this morning. Now I regret never commenting before, but I've been reading since your Palau days. Oh my gosh, you should come swim at our pool at the house we're staying at! We won't even say anything about Tammi, promise. Also, we NEED Janet's contact info! donnabardsleyatgmaildotcom. Seriously, let's meet up!

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  7. WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!?!?! Because your hair looks fabulous today.

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  8. See...Canadians are the best. :D

    Also, why didn't you bring me with you on this trip? I could have then helped you write this blog and cut out all the exaggerations in it. ;)

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  9. I wasn't confused by the email at all when she said she was Canadian.

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  10. Have a safe journey, Eli! Who is taking your garbage out?
    Question about the picture: Dubrovnik by night... Are those UFO's aligned between the buildings?

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    Replies
    1. I was wondering this as well.

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    2. It's a reflection caused by the camera due to the lights on the street...if you draw a horizontal line halfway through the picture, you can see that the lamp posts on the street are mirror images of the UFOs :) Sadly, my camera does this on occasion, so I'm all-too-familiar with this.

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  11. Still looking for the post-Janet pictures... maybe on Friday? Love the pictures of Croatia and only part of me is insanely jealous of this strange young whipper-snapper who gets to take off to all places awesome albeit dangerous according to the State Department, while the other part of me is proud of him for a positive experience with a sort-of-but-not-quite-foreign-(after all, Lee is Canadian)-masseuse.

    But if that's Janet (the nun) in the second picture, my respect for you increases exponentially, young sir.

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  12. Replies
    1. YES! Eli, how do these things always happen to you??

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  13. Ooh, those pictures are beautiful. I mean the ones of the building on the bluff. Not that you're not beautiful. Okay, this was SUPPOSED to be the most normal comment EVER on itjustgetsstranger...

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  14. Seriously, the best Gyro I have ever had came out of Croatia! It might have been in Zagreb but I can't really remember. It is actually a little shop owned by an LDS guy. Please tell me you had one!!

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