Saturday, May 31, 2008

Skinny dipping

I was in Kuala Lumpur this week, for two days, enjoying a curry served on a large banana leaf at the Royal Selangor Club and eaten entirely with the fingers (right hand only, as is the Muslim custom), and marvelling again at the spectacular other-worldness of the glowing Petronas Towers from the Sky Bar at Traders Hotel.

Yesterday I witnessed first hand a peculiar trend in the world of spa treatments, at a brand new (and almost empty) supermall near our hotel. This particular spa was known as "Dr Fish". Inside, rows of narrow fishtanks circumscribed the room in a continuous loop and patrons sat on the edge of the tank and dangled their feet over the edge for the fish to nibble at. Apparently although it tickles a bit to start with, it's therapeutic and healthy and the fish eat the dead skin and everything is wonderful, but I find this both undignified and, frankly, quite disgusting. One of our business partners, a large Australian, is very fond of the place: the only drawback is that the fish all flock to his feet as soon as he drops them in the water, much to the chagrin of the other patrons.

It did give me the opportunity to illustrate to my colleague L, a pragmatic Singaporean, the use of alliteration as a literary device with the phrase "I'm frightened of fish getting fat on my feet."

8 comments:

Grande Poobah said...

This is one of the most disgusting things I've read in a long time, and I'm in danger of giving myself deep lines as i'm frowning so much as I read it.

As an aside your business partner's feet must truly ming to high heaven.

Yet one more reason never to fly to KL.

Mummy said...

Am I really odd in not seeing what is so bad in this? I will happily pay for some person to scrape dead skin off my feet with a razor blade, which I find far odder than being nibbled at by some fish.

What amazes me is that someone has built a business around this.

They must be very happy fish.

Grande Poobah said...

no no - the correct analogy surely would be paying someone to nibble your fe.....

oh, hang on, that'll be wan chai any night of the week then!

Mummy said...

In Wan Chai you can get anything you want nibbled so I hear

Mancsoulsister said...

I have had fish nibble at my feet while I have been snorkelling but I am not sure I would want to pray for the priviledge.

Claire said...

I'm with you, mummy. I think it sounds great, though I do have a thing about having my feet tickled. Human? Fish? Who cares?

magicman said...

Doesn't sound so bad to me. I am sure the fish are very discerning only take the dead stuff and probably do a much better job than the person with the razor blade.
Do they really use a razor blade? Sounds a bit extreme.

LottieP said...

Thanks for your comments, GP, Mummy, MSS, Claire and Magicman. No one can persuade me that this is anything but revolting. Do you get to choose the fish that eats you, Hong Kong seafood restaurant style (except horribly inverted)?

Yes, they do use a razor blade, and very efficient it is too.