13 February 2014
Now, something I have forgotten to write, because truth be told, I am not 100% sure when this happened but it WAS in Cusco and it was terrifying, Jemma and I had been on holiday for a few weeks now and we had been sporting pretty hard (Jemma and I share different views on this terminology – but you get that with fiercely athletically competitive kiwi’s. ‘Sporting’ as far as I am concerned is anything that requires me to wear sports pants, or a sports bra or anything that is not thongs. So for a few weeks we had been trekking around (again Jemma, I am sorry about my view on extreme sport hehehe) and our feet were, les than glamorous. They were….not good. So, when our amazing Guide, Monica advised that we, yes, Jemma and I, could indeed – get a PEDICURE in Cusco, well…..we almost cried with happiness. You should not be able to scratch one foot with the other!!
When our bus got in, Monica told us to grab our $ and head downstairs as her friend would take us to her nail salon for pedicures. I’ll say it, Jemma and I were smug as sh*t as we walked out past our other tour buddies….that’s right ladies, WE are getting pedicures! Cop that! This tiny lady met us and walked us up the streets (also, Cusco has super cute streets) and into an arcade type thing. We walked into a shop front, it was dark, but hey, we were VIP after all. It was when we had to step through a clothes rack and behind a door into the back of a shop that things started to get weird. Or maybe it was when we saw a small family (presumably the ladies family???) preparing their dinner. The lady opened another door and pointed up some very steep, wooden steps – maybe it was when we were staring up these steps into somebodies ATTICK that we should have put two and two together. Or maybe women will do anything for a mini makeover. Either way, we were complete idiots. Because we went up the stairs. It’s like we have actually learnt nothing. It was a man, we would have said no. So why did we think we were safe? I mean, we were, but we didn’t know that!
We trailed up the stairs and were sat down in what can only be described as part attic, part-somethingfrommynightmares. It became pretty apparent that this was NOT a nail salon. I had already mentally changed my mind on the third or fourth step up, so Jemma was the sacrificial nail-goat because Monica had referred us to this lady and we didn’t want to be rude. Jemma placed her feet in a tub and we waited about ten minutes. In silence, in this attic. The lady came back, boiled a kettle and poured some water in the tub for Jemma. Then she left. I kid you not it was over 20 minutes before she appeared again. When she came back she put some salts or something into the luke warm, still water with Jemma’s feet, told us the other lady was running late and said sorry a fair bit. After another half hour in silence, Jemma and I had planned our escape – we were going to bolt. It was dark, we had no idea where we were, we had been there for over an hour, we were cold and we did NOT know what the hell was happening.
Just as we threw our thongs on and headed back downstairs, the lady re-appeared with another woman. By then we were in a pretty awkward situation, did we continue to leave and give $50 soles and bail? Or did we stay? It was ridiculous but we stayed. Jemma had what can only be described as the worst pedicure in history (it’s hard to relax when you are in an attic and scared) and we were out. We went back to our apartment, showered and started drinking.
NB: Live a little, but be smart about it, we didn’t end up dead but it’s the type of story you read on news.com and go ‘what a couple of stupid idiots’.