In most western countries people pay top dollar for a massage. On the average Americans pay $75 to have their muscles rubbed down with essential oils, while listening to soothing rhythms from a far away land. Since the cost is high many Americans do not ever get to indulge in such a luxury.
On the other hand, here in East Africa massages are part of most people's daily ritual. And the cost? You ask seeing that most people live on only a couple of dollars a day: practically free.
Of course like all things in East Africa, a few rather minor details have been left out. The African massage does not come with essential oils. And it's not recommended that you take your clothes off. Privacy? Unlikely. Soothing music? Depends on your taste. Relaxing and rejuvenating? Probably not.
So then what's the deal with this massage? You ask. It's quite straightforward. The African massage is simply a ride down one of the many bumpy roads that cover this part of the world and is something that I have been privy to over the last 7 weeks.
Whether it's a van packed full of people listening to one of the best 80s dance mixes around, or a truck packed full of bikes, vegetables, 10 children, and some chickens, it's all the same: when we hit a rough patch in the road we all look at each other, laugh and say "oh, the African massage". It may not be as relaxing as the massages in the US but I can tell you that you will be hard pressed to find this good of a bum kneeding any where else. And only for the cost of a ride down the winding, dirt roads of east Africa.
Interested? Jump into any matatu, climb aboard any bus, jump on a boda boda, or joy ride on the back of any truck and you surely will find yourself enjoying one of Africa's greatest treats.