Misadventure: San Francisco Chinatown

I have many photos of the Golden Gate, but there is something about this one, that I like…

There are many perks to going on your honeymoon 10 years after your wedding.  For us, 10 years later, our marriage is solid.  Give us a couple of days in the car alone, and once again, we complete each other’s sentences, laugh non-stop, smile, and get comfortable in silence.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Scott and Courtney adventure unless we had many misadventures.  The first one worth writing about happened in San Francisco when Scott negotiated a massage in Chinatown.

It took us two days to drive close to SF.  Then, it took us another couple of hours to drive to Oakland, and another hour and a half to park the car, no thanks to our GPS (oh another story for another day).  By the time we got out of our rental, needless to say, we were ready to walk and that we did ALL. DAY. LONG.  We weren’t planning on walking 6 miles in our sandals.  We even bought an all day transportation pass, so we could take advantage of trolleys, buses, and subways, but it FELT SO GOOD to move.  We still used public transportation, who could ignore the trolleys?  But, we SHOULD have used it more.

Needless to say, by 8:00pm, after a tasty authentic dinner in Chinatown, my back was spasming (leftover injury from our car accident a few years back).  I am sure the car ride, the sandals, and the lack of stretching were major factors.  I ignored all of the warning signs, because I am in good shape. I spend my days on my feet, I work out intensely many times a week, and we ONLY walked 6 – 8 miles.  I have run 6 miles in a shorter period.  I thought I should have been fine.

Well, I wasn’t.  I didn’t have anything to alleviate the pain and by evening I was hobbling through the city like a 90-year-old woman, well I am sure any 90-year-old woman could have lapped me easily.  It is not easy to be 1600 miles away from home and feeling this way.

While we were walking out of Chinatown, getting ready to get on our next trolley, we saw a sign “Massage $15 for 20 minutes….” A couple was standing outside, trying to get people inside.  Scott walked up to them and said, “My wife’s back hurts, she wants a massage for 20 minutes.”

They nod and point, like they understand, and we keep saying, “20 minutes.”  They walk to the back and talk to another few people and a man with a hat, comes and says, “Follow me.  I know just the person to take care of you.”

He leads me way back into a dark room, and another man starts preparing the table.  They start talking and I hear all sorts of words I do not understand.  He starts lighting some kind of fire and I know this NOT a 20 minute massage for $15.  I say, “I want a 20 minute massage for $15, like your sign.”

The room falls silent. The man preparing the table glares at me.  The man with the hat says, “You need therapy.  You need 60 minutes, that is much more. Therapy he is the best.”

“No,” I said. (Thinking, “I don’t want the best…”)

Therapy Is expensive. I will give you 20 minutes for $40.”  They all start talking. I hear two languages, three voices, the room feels like it is getting darker. I start thinking about how late it is, our two-hour drive to get to our hotel. I don’t even know where our car is, and how long it will take, road construction, traffic, will we go over mountains?  Who knows.  We have a lot of unknowns in our evening, and it is dark.

I walk out of the room.  I see Scott relaxing, chatting, reading.  I roll my eyes.  Lucky him.  “We’re leaving.  I don’t want this place.”

We walk out, not sure if they will follow.  I don’t think they are used to hearing no from obvious tourists.  They don’t follow.

“Nice try, Babies,” I said.

“What?” He asked, still confused, not knowing what went on in the backroom.

“I think it’s time to say good-bye to this city before you sell me. Let’s try Icy Hot and Aleve before we walk into another parlor. Thanks anyway.”

Stay tuned, more misadventures to come!  We had a few, and I certainly don’t want to forget them, they make traveling fun!

Have you ever had a misadventure while traveling? I’d love to hear about it!  What about a miscommunication with someone who speaks a different language?  Tell me your small moments in the comments below!

Riding the Trolley as we leave Chinatown and find our way back to the car.

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3 thoughts on “Misadventure: San Francisco Chinatown

  1. We had a girlfriend weekend and did the same thing, shopping, walking, eating, walking, walking, shopping – did I mention walking? We found a foot massage sign that said 40 minute foot massage for 20.00. We were all excited. Turned out to be a great foot massage, but also include a FULL body massage in the process. The room was dark and all 8 of us were in the same room in oversize chairs that laid completely down. They put a warm towel with a nice scent over everyones face, so we couldn’t see. When we left we were all in shock and laughed the whole weekend.

  2. Wow…your pictures are just stunning! Amazing! Frame those now!:)

    mishaps…Chris and I went to Hawaii before we had kids. I bought this amazing blue book! The ultimate guidebook. It told us of all these secret hidden spots on the Hawaiian islands. Anyway, one let us to this beautiful treasure, one we had to get to by hiking and scaling some boulders. We arrived to a naked couple who thought they were all alone. As I was scaling the rocks, I stood up into a boulder and broke my head open. I probably had a minor concussion. We were in Maui, in the middle of nowhere, with my bleeding head. My amazing husband took off his shirt and I used it to stop the bleeding, with the help of a naked lady I may add. Everything turned out okay, obviously, but that memory will stay with us forever…as will your SF adventure. Those mishaps sometimes make the trip! 🙂

    • Oh my gosh! Love your story! That is ONE to remember for sure! Love it!!!! That made my laugh out loud for sure and I do NOT throw around the L O L 😉

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