I love massages. I won’t deny it nor act like I do not. If I could hire a personal masseuse to follow me around I would. However I do not make that A-List celebrity money. I will consider this for my next PDP😁 So what does this have to do with dignity you ask? I will promise to get there. Just hang in there.
Back in the States I do not get massages very often because they are a bit expensive. I do have a foot massage place in Dallas that is reasonable and amazingly good if you need a recommendation, but I digress. So when I got to Vietnam I realized there are spas that do massages on every block. It is a very large business. And it is very cheap. Cheap as in price but not in quality. I can get a 90 minute deep tissue massage for 200,000 VND or around $8 USD. The first massage I had here was amazing but it turned into Circue Du Massage. So you know when you have kids and you lay on your back and put them on your feet and so a superman? Well picture that, but me on my back in an arch as this lady holds me up cracking my back. Mind you I am 200 lbs and she was about 90 lbs. No wonder she was sweating.
So with good quality and prices I try to get one a week. After starting crossfit here my body thanks me every time! I try to go to new places. The other day I walked past a place called “Just Massage” a place for empowerment and dignity. I went up and read the sign by the door. This place takes the disabled, specifically the visually impaired, and teaches them a skill that they can be proud of and make money. I was teary eyed just reading the sign. I decided that my next massage would be here.
The disabled people here seem to be shut away. They live in generational homes so they tend to keep them inside and people think of them as a burden because they cannot make money to help the family or cannot take care of the older family members. I have seen a few disabled people on the street but they seem to be used as props to make money. This got me to thinking about all the things I take for granted at home.
Path had a big event a week ago in Saigon. It was at a convention center type place. I missed the elevator at least 4 times because it was silent. Not a bell or a ding to let me know it was there. That is what a visually impaired person would do as well. Not know when the elevator was there. The simple thing I took for granted in the states now makes me sad because that simple sound is not here on every elevator. There are no ramps for wheelchairs. There is no sign of Braille anywhere. Many hallways could not accommodate wheelchairs or crutches. Many building do not have elevators. There are no handicapped parking or accessible bathrooms. The list could go on and on.
I do not know a lot about laws for disabled people in the US but I will no longer take them for granted. Everyone deserves dignity. The ability to get in and out of a building. The ability to use the restroom when needed. The ability to cross the street safely. I will set a goal to learn more and join the disabled ERG that GSK has, to make sure I support in anyway I can.
I went back to get a massage at Just Massage. A girl took me upstairs. She showed me to my room. She spoke very good English. After I was in position she then measured out my body with here hands and then proceeded to give me a great shiatsu massage. She was completely blind. She was completely amazing.
Any business that will support the disabled here has my business. To imagine that this girl may not have any dignity or be treated without dignity because she cannot see something wounds me. I have now several friends going as well to show support. And I will make sure to appreciate the laws and the people that the laws are for in the US. Dignity is not a priviledge. It is a right.
P.s. Just look at the pics and ask yourself how you would go down the stairs, enter the building or cross the street.