Expat Life, Food & Drink, Psychology & Musings, Psychology & Wellbeing

Massages and Chia Bites 

Today has been… an experience. Some good bits some, well, let’s call them interesting bits.  This morning I stopped in for my morning Starbucks while catching up on a bit of work blogging. As I wrote I glanced at my nails and noticed it was time for a bit of maintenance. I’d walked past a place a couple of times that had cheap manicures -$10 – and I couldn’t resist.

Now, if I was looking for salubrious surroundings this would not be my nail salon of choice but, since I’m not yet working and having my nails done is most definitely a luxury, I decided I’d chance it.  It’s a Chinese owned family business and from what I gathered there’s a mix of family and a few (poorly paid as I later found out) Mexicans working there.

As I sat down and the Mexican woman started taking my last polish off, I surveyed my surroundings. It looked a lot like a local Chinese takeaway, the kind you might avoid if you had a choice, complete with health warnings and all…

As the manicure progressed I was surprised at how much I got for my cash. Then the extras started…  Did I want top coat? Erm… Yes! Extra dollar. Did I want a pedicure? That’s another $20. No I’m good for a pedicure. Even after the second time she asked I was still good.

After, I was taken to the ‘drying area’ and just when I thought I’d got a fairly good deal for my cash, despite the hard sell, the massage started! Did I want a 10 minute back massage for $10? Well she’d started, I could hardly say no! 10 minutes and a slightly battered back later… after my $10 had turned into $20, she then asked me if I wanted a tip.  I thought she meant nail tips so I said no. I’d already spent more than I bargained for! To which I received a stern glare, the question again, and a story about how poor the wages were and that she lived on tips. There goes another $10.

I spent $33 in total (Americans don’t like to tell you the tax on your purchases until you get to the till). Not so cheap after all!

After the trauma of the morning, I needed another coffee. I decided to try out a recommendation I got from Twitter for a place called Lorca. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a quirky, arty sort of place – right up my street – and it serves delicious snacks (I tried the yummy Chia bites) and iced coffee with no extra sugar added! A rarity on the East Coast shores I’m learning.


So, after a slightly odd morning, Lorca certainly brightened my day!  Who knows what tomorrow holds… After today, I’m ready for anything.

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