If you work in Central, you’ve probably come across the Giant Foot Man at some point. A life-sized foot mascot, he can usually be seen at the corner of Lyndhurst Terrace and Gage Street outside of Pizza Express handing out flyers for the foot massage place called ‘Refresh’, which is located just down the street.
You can’t deny it’s a great marketing tactic, and if being encased in a giant foot costume in 30+ degrees and 95% humidity wasn’t torturous and/or humiliating enough, their latest gimmick is a smaller version of a foot, this time to be worn on the person’s head only with a circular hole cutout for the face, so the poor person can’t even hide their identity!
Anyway as I’ve always been a big fan of the Giant Foot Man (or whoever’s the poor person stuck inside), I decided to give it a try last Friday to see if it was any good. The place was pretty clean with a good selection of Eng/Chi magazines (+) and a never-ending soundtrack of wild bird shrieks (-), but when it came to the massage, it was pretty damn bad.
I got Lilian, a stone-faced, hefty Chinese woman in her 50s with thick fish lips, ruler-cut bangs and a constant deadpan expression on her face. During the first 10 mins of the massage which was on the neck and shoulders, she pinched, poked and tugged at my skin without any rhythm at all, then plucked at the tendons in my neck as if she had mistaken it for some kind of stringed instrument (a banjo, I think).
When it came to the foot massage, she was rough as hell, claiming that I had a bad stomach, eyeballs, earlobes, whatever, which justified the intense pressure that she was delivering the massage with. Despite my ‘Yeowws!!!’ she continued to press harder, so I tried my best to focus on reading my magazine instead. The creepy thing was, whenever I glanced up from my magazine at her, I found her staring back at me with glassy eyes, and in the dim lighting of the room, she looked extremely zombie like…
Traditional thinking is that the more painful the massage, the more benefits you’re supposed to get, but the next day, all I got were a bunch of small, finger-sized bruises all over my shins. Let’s just say, I won’t be going back!