HOLLY MIRANDA SMALE

Writer, photographer, "rapper" and general technophobe takes on the internet in what could be a very, very messy fight. But it's alright: she's harder than she looks, and she's wearing every single ring she could get her hands on.







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Friday, 28 May 2010

Leg Pulling

Health and beauty are important to women; especially women who are nearing their thirties and are therefore rapidly losing large quantities of both.

As my friend and I are two such women - me far more than her, although we are both the wrong side of 25 - we go at least once or twice a week to the local onsen, the Cherry. It’s not the nicest onsen in the area, it’s not the biggest onsen, and it doesn’t have the best free shampoo, but the water is known across this part of the country for being - well, pretty much magic. Which means we both spend as much time in it as possible, as often as possible, in the hope that we may accidentally step out one day with the skin we had ten years ago (a watery time machine much, much better than anything Michael J Fox ever climbed into).

I feel like crap, I texted her last night. I’m exhausted constantly and I’ve got a sore throat and I’m hot and cold and I’ve been up all night coughing up green shit.
Me too,
my friend texted back. It must be work stress.
I didn't say anything, because it might be work stress for her but it is quite tangibly not work stress for me. I barely do any.
Onsen? she suggested.

So - as I never need persuading to sit in a hot tub of water and do nothing for two hours - we headed to the onsen, chatted cheerily to the naked old ladies and straightened out every problem the world had ever gallantly offered us.

“I feel so much better already,” my friend eventually admitted, after we had popped up again from holding our breath under water as long as we could.
“I love that this water is so smelly,” I said. Which - for those of you who have never been to an onsen - it is: a yellow colour, sulphorous, salty and full of minerals and other stuff I know nothing about but sounds really, really fun and good for you. The smellier the better, as far as my friend and I are concerned. It shows it must be doing something.
“It really feels like we’re getting better, doesn’t it?”
So we dived under the stinky water again, and - after another fifteen minutes of turning into salty little prunes - we eventually climbed out, feeling wonderful, coughed up some more green shit and went for a cigarette.

All of which means that the round of emails I woke up to this morning did not exactly fill me with the sparkle of a million fairies.

The Cherry Onsen was on the news last night, a local friend had emailed the Nichinan group of us. Legionairres disease has been found in the water. Does anyone go there?
Wouldn’t touch that place; it’s minging,
another friend had replied.
Don’t Nam and Holly go there every week?
Yeah. Nuff said. Hahaha.
I wouldn’t worry. Apparently you just have to be concerned if you have cold like symptoms.
Are you pulling my leg-ionairres? Ahaha.
They said on the news you were only at high risk if you go under the water. And if you smoke.
Who goes under the water at an onsen?
Probably those two dickheads,
the email round concluded, as if both of us weren’t cc’d into every single one of them.

I’d just finished reading when my phone beeped with a new date suggestion from my friend.

Two words: Irony, and Doctors?

There are very few things as important as being healthy and beautiful, you see. And not being dead or hospitalised from Legionairres disease is probably a step in the right direction. As is getting out of the healthy and beautiful smelly water that may have given it to you and getting into a doctor's surgery.

I just doubt that it will be as much fun.