Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Case for the "Spa" Day

Yesterday I gave myself a break by going to the salon and getting my nails done.

It's the first time for me to go to any beauty establishment here in my hometown (Jesi Mendez doesn't count because it's about 20-30 miles away) so I wasn't expecting any big-city prices of any sort. I got myself a manicure and "spa pedicure" for around P275, or roughly US$5.50 -- which won't even cover the cost of replacing a broken nail back in HNL. I was with my Mom, who had both fingers and toes coated with clear polish. For my fingernails, I chose a sparkly golden peach (think Nars Orgasm, but with more gold), with a very dark burgundy for my toenails.

The thing with spas over here is that, while they're still bound to the same health standards as most nail salons in the world, they're still much, much more comfortable. While I didn't get my usual gigantor massaging chair with whirlpool foot bath attachment, I did get a quiet communal room, a comfortable lounge seat, all the newest fashion mags from Manila, and a very attentive and non-judgmental manicurista who was totally cool about putting the callus knife away in favor of a wet foot file and some seriously scrubby exfoliating gloves, which got my feet in shape better than anything else I can think of.

Compare that with one of the last times I got my nails done in Honolulu, where I had to ask for a remote because they had put on an unintentionally frightening Vietnamese karaoke video on the telly (and not frightening in a ha-ha-super-kitschy way but more like the "Dammit, I will never ever rent Audition again" kind of way) and I had to risk chipping my polish so I could watch The View. Next to that experience, this trip to the salon was, well, a day at the spa.

And here's the thing about my home town: Everyone goes to the spa. True, it was also my Mom's first time getting a spa pedicure, but I swear there were also a couple of grandmas who came in for the pedicure as well, and even a tough-looking guy who was getting his fingers cleaned up. The nail tech who worked with me told me that everything gets busy from noontime onwards -- not so much because of the office crowd (who come in after work) but because of the stay-at-home moms who come in for a break from taking care of the house and kids. Now I have to check out all the other day spas in the country (or at least 50 miles from where I am) to see how everyone gets their spa day.


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meimei said...