Saturday, December 31, 2005

Shower Your Head

Amidst much fanfare, thanks to a very well-organised marketing and promotional plan, BravingKL officially welcomes Mandi Manda as the newest member to be listed on the KL sauna directory.

Armed with an impressive line-up of features (among those that stood out was ‘private cabins’) and broadcasting unmistakably overly-pompous and courageous value propositions (such as KL’s new playground for the boys and men’s cruise spa regenerated), anticipation and expectations inevitably shot sky-high.

Perhaps a tad too high.

We have actually run out of lockers,” exclaimed the front-desk staff. The first day’s turn-out was grossly under-estimated, and many customers who arrived two hours after opening time had to pack their belongings in little travel bags instead.

A quick inspection on the facilities spread across the 3 floors rapidly sent hopes and wishes tumbling down. This new sauna was undeniably new, but here is a list of things it was not:

"Luxurious Seated Rain Baths"
With rough unfinished cement floor and partitions, flimsy-looking shower curtains, now-you-get-it-now-you-don’t hot water, and a miserable bottle of shower gel that was almost running out, the only thing luxurious about the showers was perhaps the volume of water gushing out from the shower heads above, which was strategically placed to effortlessly bring distraught to your perfectly gelled hair. With the absence of an open shower area, the exhibitionist in you who are dying to show off your bubbly bums after a month’s worth of sweat in the gym would be grossly disappointed with the lack of deserving exposure. What about seated bath you ask? I think that equally rough and unfinished slab of raised cement (which was where the shower gel was placed, and was collecting undrained foamy residues from previous occupants) was meant as a seat.

"Multimedia Lounge"
In a roomy area with rough unfinished cement floor and walls (you get the idea), come bore yourself watching the 88th rerun of Great Vacation Homes served on a plasma screen that is permanently programmed to air Astro’s Travel and Living channel. Hang out a bit longer to complete the sight and sound with snores from tired uncles sleeping on the sofas, and peels of laughter from fellow sisters who have found themselves a nice spot to congregate at the walkway outside the lounge for the lack of a better location. Truly the ultimate multimedia experience.

"Private Cabins"
The cabins are indeed a sight to behold. Placed in each of the tiny rooms built with rough unfinished cement floor and walls (ok ok, you get the idea) is the most awe-inspiring piece of furniture ever seen since IKEA opened its door in 1 Utama many years ago. It would be perfectly normal if found in beauty centers offering facial skincare treatment, massage and body slimming courses, but this thick
piece of single-sized mattress punched with a hole right where the face should go and raised to impossible heights with four long steel legs, looks comically out of place in a world where hormones rage and cum stains conquer. Acrophobics should think twice before climbing onto one of these with their new-found meat.

"Group Activity Room"
Two decent-sized rooms which are equally empty, stuffy, a tad too bright and expectedly, deserted. Mosquitoes have group activities here, indeed.

"GH Room"
I know for sure it does not stand for General Hospital.

Another piece of equally awe-inspiring furniture can be found here. Savaged from the remains of Restaurant Mamak Abu Bakar down the street which had just closed down two weeks ago, this steel monster, its shiny shelves, compartments and all, conjures too much memories of its previous existence. “Boss, magee goreng satu!” Oops, I meant to say, “Is that cup of hot tea free of charge?

Welcome to the family, Mandi Manda.

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