Today started with an early 6:30am wake up call —for no reason. I’ve been lacking some sleep over the weekend, so it wasn’t a great sign to wake up feeling tired.

I powered through the morning, and, around lunchtime, my Airbnb host asked me if I wanted to go out. I told him I was thinking about getting some Phó and so teamed-up on his scooter for a 12mn ride through the city.

He told me he caught the flu over the weekend, so I thought Phó should also be a good thing for him. After an delicious, energising, filling, and hearty lunch we were on our way back when he asked me if I ever had a face massage, here in Vietnam.

I explained to him that I hadn’t, and that the only massages I ever get are given by my girlfriend — I’ve never felt comfortable enough having a professional massage therapist (unrelated but yeah, I dislike the word masseuse). He said he was going to get one and offered that I tag along, citing how relaxing it was.

We parked in front of this hair salon, in the third district. Entering the salon, we were taken all the way to the back where they had a barely lit room with six beds, and two current customers. As you lay down, you realise that there is a flat surface slightly inclined, just enough so that your head is tilted backward.

The therapist put a towel under my head and another one on my chest, before starting to shampoo and wash my hair. With my hair wet and cleaned, she started massaging my cranium with their fingernails before moving on to my face.

She went through several cycles, several routines, going from the top of my skull down to my forehead, to my cheeks, to my neck, and even down to my shoulder blades. All in all, it was a very relaxing experience, especially considering my physical exhaustion from the past few days and the lack of sleep from last night.