I’m sitting in a comfortable, overstuffed leather chair this morning typing away at this letter while a team of local women give me a traditional Thai foot massage. 30 minutes in the chair will set me back about $4, and I can’t think of a better way to part with my money.
It is with great hesitation that I’m even sitting in this chair– not because I don’t like massage, but because this particular chair happens to be at the airport. You see, I’m waiting for my departure to Europe, and if it weren’t for an important meeting in Spain that I’m looking forward to, I would be staying right here in Asia.
It’s not that I don’t like Europe– I love it, actually… the scenery, the people, the history, the architecture. It’s hard to not feel alive on a summer day in Krakow, racing down a ski slope in the Italian Alps, or driving a Porsche down the Croatian coastline.
In terms of value for the money, however, Asia has Europe beat hands down.
Take this simple, $4 massage; it would be difficult, and entirely cost prohibitive, to find a team of European professionals who would be willing to provide this level of attention; Europeans feel that ‘serving’ another human being is elitist, which is part of their egalitarian socialist dogma. The session would be courteous, at best.
Many cultures in Southeast Asia, on the other hand, are happy to go the extra mile, especially when there is a gratuity attached. The ladies who staff this airport location, for example, wouldn’t even let me remove my own shoes and socks– they did it for me.
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