I recently participated in a coaching session about promoting myself. The coach asked those of us in attendance, “What makes you special? What have you experienced that most people have not experienced?” That question took me back to a journey down a long dark road in Germany many, many years ago.
I’d flown to Frankfurt from Saudi Arabia to visit my family and have some time away from the restrictive nature of life on a compound. I loved being in Saudi but every few months I was happy to get away. As a nurse I frequently had problems with my back and travel invariably made it worse. This time was no exception.
I always stayed at the same hotel when I arrived in Frankfurt. The concierge and I had become comfortable with each other. He offered excellent options when I needed help and I was a generous tipper. Noting that I was in pain he asked if I would like a massage. At that point in my life, sad to say, I had never had a massage so when he asked me what kind of massage I wanted I asked what he meant. He asked if I wanted a therapeutic massage or something else. I let him know that I was only interested in relieving the spasm in my back. He immediately set me up with a masseuse named Tony and I went for my massage. Tony, a compact and muscular woman, made me comfortable about the entire process and by the end of the hour I felt like a new person.
After returning from my train trip inland to visit family the concierge asked if I would like to have another massage before the long flight back to Saudi. I said yes and he suggested that I relax and enjoy myself before I went back to the rules and regulations – as he put it. He told me that he would set it up. He told me that a car would come for me, I would go to see a show and then have a massage. He also told me that the dress was formal and that I should dress to impress and I did.
Knowing what I know now, I would have paid more attention to his voice inflection or to the ever so slight wink of his left eye. But I didn’t. And so, I agreed to get a massage and see a show.
At precisely 7:00pm the limousine arrived and the door was opened by a liveried driver. It was a beautiful car with plush black leather seats. For a little country girl like me it was much more than I had ever experienced. I was feeling like Cinderella as the car smoothly pulled away from the curb.
Before long a television screen came into view and a movie started to play. Unfortunately the movie was in German and there were no subtitles. However, it was an easy to follow plot. Boy meets girl. Boy chases girl. Girl allows herself to get caught.
After fifteen minutes or so the limo slows to a stop in front of a beautiful hotel. I think I have arrived and prepare to alight from my carriage when the driver explained to me, in the very poor English that he spoke, that I was to stay in the car. I complied and was soon joined by a well-dressed business man.
To say that I was confused is putting it mildly but the new passenger did not look surprised. I surmised that this limo was more like a high-rent shuttle and I realized I was right as a few more stops were made and more well-dressed men settled into the limousine.
A tiny little flag went up but I pushed it to the back of my mind. So far, so good! I was not worried about the fact that I was in a foreign country in a limousine filled with strange men headed to a destination as yet unknown.
It wasn’t until we’d travelled at least ten miles outside the city on a very long dark road that I began to get a little apprehensive. I was beginning to wonder about my fate and if my unwillingness to look afraid had landed me into deep trouble. But soon, we pulled up in front of a beautiful, ornate castle-like Bavarian home. While still wondering where I was, I was greeted at the door by a beautiful and charming woman. My jitters dissipated.
We were escorted into a room with a stage and the show began. The show began simply enough, Boy meets girl. Boy chases girl. Girl allows herself to be caught by boy. After about thirty minutes the play took a decided turn from charming to erotic. Everyone on the stage was fully dressed but there was some serious making out going on. The actors progressed the same way lovers would progress – getting more and more involved and more and more nude as the scenes unfolded.
Once again, I was wondering if everything I discussed with the concierge had gotten lost in translation. Yes, I did want dinner and a show followed by a luxurious massage BUT I wondered if I had gotten on the wrong limo. The color was rising in my cheeks as the clothing was dropping to the floor. It could not be considered pornography but it was getting pretty darned close!
Our hostess, apparently noting my discomfort, suggested that I move to the bar. There we talked and after a few moments she asked me if I’d like a tour of the house. Wanting to get out of seeing-range of the stage – there was full frontal exposure now – I welcomed the tour.
Stay tuned for Part Two…