My New York Special European Facial

4/26/2015 11:39:00 PM

Yesterday I remembered Mary. The unwinding, most relaxed of hours that I spent with her. One of most gracious, with an infectious smile,  She is perhaps the only person, Who' said I am beautiful and that, in such a manner, not even a tiny bit cheesiest. I believed her. 4 years now, since I moved out of Koramangala 5th Block in Bangalore, I am really missing her.

Groupons, bit specific to USA, but how many coupons one uses per year. Half a dozen would be small a number right. thats how many it is for me. and not that I am quite sporadic in regards to the typical services, Its very difficult for me to handle to the incredibly persuasive sale tactics that these people follow, sometime at the cost of, even making you believe that you're the ugliest person to have walked on earth. All that just to have you buy a $100 serum that, most probably would make you exactly like what you look like right now, after that tube is over and thrown in the trash can. Such experiences I usually ignore, but I suddenly realize I am spending way too many $$s,  that in all probability will cover my 2 road trips cost. and that is motivating me to write the reviews, besides the human interactions are too cute to not write about them.

The $29 - "Beauty & Youth Spa" Groupon, I bought last week, I realized I was / still am, in good need of some skin care, which I usually don't, but still end up spending a lot on. I had to cancel once, made it to 8th street this sunny Saturday. Spacious, not so loud place with nice receptionists, I wait for 10-15 minutes before the facial lady walks up to me, and guide me to a room two floors up, where this story begins.

I am not a doctor, but I know he'll never tell you how he's going to chop you off in the name of surgery until you're on the bed half-naked. such is the case with facials too. One always must pray before the ritual, for the next one hour of you hoping to look like million bucks is in someone else's mood. So she asks me, in her Russian accent - What do you want, just the cleansing or anything more? Only Cleansing for now, what is part of the groupon. - I utter with a faint smile. Its not going to make any difference, I want to tell you that before hand. - She replies back. You wash your sace, that cleanse your face. She adds. How honest, I like honest people, I think and cross question - Why do you have the package then? Umm we just have it. -  She quickly walks towards her equipments, putting a close to the conversation. I know Its time to close my eyes.

Its not the first time I had a facial done in New York City,  perhaps once or twice, in last 2 years, thats actually 1/12th of the times I should get it done at least, I know. But I am always behind when it comes to grooming, not that I don't do it at home, but spas and salons are not really my thing. In my lifetime, It was only once I made an exception and that was Mary, in Lakme Salon, Bangalore. I am actually writing a post card to her as I draft this, just to say ' thank you and that I remember you and your soft hands' for how she took care of me, for all those months of regular vita-c facials, before and after my trip to Ladakh. Yes, she' dint make a face when I came back all tanned and bruised by harsh winter at 18000ft.

Here I had a 60 years old, rubbing my face, who disappeared, leaving me under the steam for 15 minutes, ( someone educate me if thats how long is needed for your pores to open, I thought it was based on your skin. ) I was almost mad, but quickly slipped into another conversation about nothing but Travel.

Never been to India, but would want to go. - She Says - India is no 2 now. People are becoming rich now. - She says. Not as rich as it was 100s of years ago, all gold. Now other kind of rich perhaps. -  I reply with a deep breath. ( What 100 years, I was not even there then, so grim I turn sometime I thought ) Nova Scotia, or so I heard - and immediately ask if she's seen northern lights, She smiled - I couldn't see - not sure if it was yes or no. I continued. I drove to Alaska just to see the lights. and They were beautiful.

You know Alaska once was part of Russia?...
What, Nope.

So This queen in 1800s supposedly was playing a game of cards, No money left to put on stake, she sold Alaska to the American General, sitting there perhaps enjoying the game / playing with them I am not sure if I heard it / remember it right, at this moment. I was only time traveling 200 hundred years back, and imagining - If only I were a queen, with enough land to play cards with - wow.

For why there's no single search result on this 'cheapest' deal in the history,  that not only gave so much gold to america but the land of incomparable beauty and most diverse territory in the world - I wonder.

A couple more minutes, I spent roaming in Arctic circle, while my pack dries up. I always dig history lessons, and when its about land I love, I can forgive the extra few minutes spent under the hot burning steam. Little more I loosen up knowing She's 60 and working 10 hours a day. What do I do - The other kind of social service - keeping the communication network up is a service to society too, specially this generation.. says my dad, telling I should feel proud of me. but a usual 24X7 on which I blame almost everything I don't do - a few days of the week that I spent working remotely from home, a few 9-5 w/ flexible lunch and breaks through, and half her age, on my side, and I still complain - well sometimes. You're really inspiring - I tell her.

I face looks clean, only lot red - She's gives me strict instructions to not use oil, and only use serum and cream - that I can buy a $98 serum, I wouldn't perhaps she' kind of knows by now. You can leave me a tip. to which I say Okay.

At the reception I ask 'em if they want to mark the groupon redeemed on my phone, She watches over me from far, Only if she knew, I had already paid the tip with the tax in cash.

Recommend this Groupon? - NO
17 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011

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