I was interpreting for a Chinese client who works in the massage business, and she pointed out a place near my home. “Hey, a massage!” I thought. “That would feel great after training!”

When I arrived, the song playing was a classic about a high-end bar girl (“何日君再来”). That was just enough to inflame my anxieties: “I’m seriously getting naked for a stranger in this place with just a towel on my caboose?” And then mademoiselle entered, whipped off my towel, and laid hands straight on my uncovered tail. 

In sleepy Chico, I seldom get any use from a stress-proof command of Chinese that doesn’t desert me in moments of alarm, but today it was finally useful! I’m sure I was suave and unflappable as James Bond when I said, “Say, I hope this doesn’t mess up your process, but let’s leave my butt covered.”

My virtue remains intact, such as it is, and I’m going back there as soon as I can afford to. I feel like I’m walking on clouds.

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