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CoastPrivate
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At Coast Private, we’re more than simply a jet charter company; we’re a full-service private aviation brokerage offering a wealth of solutions, from ad-hoc charter and elite jet card membership programs, to airliner charters, private jet leasing and private jet sales worldwide.

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Atlanta GA 30304
Email: info@coastprivate.com
Phone: 770-309-4178

Public Bath Houses and Private Massage

Public Bath Houses and Private Massage

After a day of blogging, surfing and trawling the web, I find myself at Xiawu fandian (restaurant), the small eatery, barely a stone’s throw from the compound where teachers’ residences are located.

The warm spring breeze that nature mercifully blessed us with on Valentine’s Day is now gone. It’s been replaced by the chilly wind that blows in from different directions, but mostly the North.

I zip my jacket all the way up and snuggle in its feathery warmth as I wait for a table. The restaurant is full and I ask for a chair to brought out where I can sit and gaze at the passersby and, hopefully, share a smile and hello with some. I ask for a small helping of baijiu to keep me company and warm my body while I wait.

Huainan is not a firendly city. Hellos are hard to come by and smiles are a rarity. Sometimes, one’s very own students prefer to pass by without so much as a cursory glance or a greeting out of courtesy. Respect for teachers is a tradition in China. Imports are out of the ambit, I think, as I watch a student eye me, then try to look through me and then, on afterthought, cross the street to save herself the bother of a hello. I smile to myself to make up for a lost hello.

I sit, my back to the restaurant, facing the street. It’s wide enough and as dirty as some Indian streets. The sidewalk is mined. Tiles are coming loose and every time an unwary passerby steps on the wrong one, he is splashed with little jets of dirty, brown-black water onto the shoes and sometimes the ends of trousers. I walk gingery, carefully choosing the tiles on which to step. I have learnt through my share of the mines. Now, I am like a war-weary veteran!

After a day of blogging, surfing and trawling the web, I find myself at Xiawu fandian (restaurant), the small eatery, barely a stone’s throw from the compound where teachers’ residences are located.

The warm spring breeze that nature mercifully blessed us with on Valentine’s Day is now gone. It’s been replaced by the chilly wind that blows in from different directions, but mostly the North.

I zip my jacket all the way up and snuggle in its feathery warmth as I wait for a table. The restaurant is full and I ask for a chair to brought out where I can sit and gaze at the passersby and, hopefully, share a smile and hello with some. I ask for a small helping of baijiu to keep me company and warm my body while I wait.

Huainan is not a firendly city. Hellos are hard to come by and smiles are a rarity. Sometimes, one’s very own students prefer to pass by without so much as a cursory glance or a greeting out of courtesy. Respect for teachers is a tradition in China. Imports are out of the ambit, I think, as I watch a student eye me, then try to look through me and then, on afterthought, cross the street to save herself the bother of a hello. I smile to myself to make up for a lost hello.

I sit, my back to the restaurant, facing the street. It’s wide enough and as dirty as some Indian streets. The sidewalk is mined. Tiles are coming loose and every time an unwary passerby steps on the wrong one, he is splashed with little jets of dirty, brown-black water onto the shoes and sometimes the ends of trousers. I wonder if crafty businesses have a hand in that. I walk gingerly, carefully choosing the tiles on which to step. I have learnt through my share of the mines. Now, I am like a war-weary veteran!

Lily passes by, on her way back from a bath, looking very clean and fresh. Her husband follows a respectful step behind. Lily teaches at my university. She is young and pretty and a little fatter than she was a couple of years ago when I first saw her. Her husband works in Hefei. Like Lily and I, he is also a teacher, an English teacher. I am glad for their hellos and smiles. The Chinese bathe in the evening or night and rarely in the morning. I find that intriguing. Perhaps, they like to be fresh in bed and that’s a good enough reason.

More intriguing than the night-time bath is the place where they bathe. Most people bathe in bath-houses. I ask Lily why that is so. ‘It’s cold,’ she answers. I don’t ask how that’s different. I know. Most homes, in the past, did not have a bath. At best, they had dry lavatories, without running water. Residents would fill water in tubs and then splash some down after the deed was done. Many still live in such houses. Newly-built houses and apartments, however, are better equipped and come with all modern amenities, including hot-and-cold baths or showers.

Many bath houses serve a purpose other than just cleanse bodies. Or well, they cleanse bodies both on the outside and the inside. Many offer a massage – a genuine massage – and some offer a massage for pleasure, too! I don’t know if these services are exclusively for men or sometimes for women, too. There are pedestrian bath-houses for those on a budget and there are swanky five-star bath-houses, with lobbies and interiors done up in a style to put first-rate hotels to shame. Rates for a no-frills bath can vary from liang kuai (two yuan) to, well, who knows the upper limit! At least, I don’t.

My apartment has hot and cold shower facilities and I have never felt the need to use the public bath-houses. In any case, certainly not for a shower!

I turn to Lily to ask if she knows how bath-houses came to be more than just. But, Lily is turning white and I don’t want to embarrass her, not as she shivers in the chilly wind after a warm bath.

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