Friday, July 10, 2009

Ikebana Massage Class

Don't you love how an experience can evolve and turn into something completely wonderfully different than expected? 

I appreciate how that seems to happen more often as an expat in a foreign country. My theory is that because we're living here as guests, we have less control over external circumstances and we are more likely to go with the flow. Do you agree?

Anyway, today I had just one of those fun day turnarounds. 

For my latest new "challenge", I enrolled in an Ikebana class. Ikebana is Japanese artistic flower arrangement, and ever since planning my wedding flowers a year and a half ago, I've been in love with flowers. I don't know how to express it really-- they just make me happy.

So, I attended the class and it was fun enough. I was surprised to see that another enrollee was a student of mine, Sophista from Thailand. We talked a lot and learned how to make small arrangements using washi paper and practiced our Japanese with two high school girls also taking the class. 

But then, the topic of conversation somehow got around to Thai Massage, and it just so conveniently turned out that Sophista trained at the most famous massage school in Thailand. To make a long story short, the Ikebana studio suddenly turned into a Thai massage salon. Sophista had us sitting on the ground with the buckets of flowers as she kneaded all the knots out of our sore shoulders and backs. Then she gave us a tutorial on all the reflexology points in our feet. We ended up all staying for a long time afterwards talking about this or that and even made a lunch date together for next week.

 Have you ever spontaneously bonded with a group of "strangers"? Share your story here!


busstoped said...

Hi there well it must be strange living in the East.I lived in Germany and Holland for a Few years but I always to got along with North African people much better than my fellow Europeans.

Mica said...

That must have been one great class!

First of all, love the Ikebana arrangement! That was what you achieved at the end of the class? You were soooo inspired.

And as a freebie, Thai massage! LOL Lucky you. I love massages but don't get them here in the Netherlands. I'll just end up comparing them to the ones I get around Asia unless I find an Asian masseuse living close by.

Don't you love it when you have so much in common with "strangers?" I've met a few here in the Netherlands and quite a handful online (all women)! We got along so well, I've met some of them in the Philippines and in Amsterdam.

Will be checking out your blog often since I love Japan!

Mary and Sean said...

Thanks for stopping by... we never know what kind of people we'll make friends with sometimes. The great thing about being abroad is that we often get introduced to new people we've never had contact with before.

Mary and Sean said...

Thanks! I'm really hoping to take more ikebana here...
yes, it's fun to connect with unexpected people at unexpected times

Abi King said...

Ah - my aching shoulders are so jealous! I once ended up learning dutch alongside snowboarding in Andorra...can't say I got very far but it was fun ;)

peregrina feminina said...

Awesome, you got a flower arrangement course and a massage. I had the opportunity to go to an Ikebana flower show in SF in March, the arrangements were amazing.

Thanks for commenting on my post!


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