Sunday, 30 January 2011

Love unexpected pedicure

This is a photo of Pirojki, like the ones I made today. I did not add anything dodgy in them, honest. Just some minced beef and onions, wrapped in puff pastry....

Funnily enough, I talked about a foot massage. So, imagine my shock, when a friend offered to massage my feet today.

We had  friends over for lunch; and I, driven by my bizarre nesting instinct, decided to cook some of the Azeri/Russian dishes for them. I made plov, of course, and some pirojki, and some beetroot salad...the usual suspects. (Or the only ones I know how to make.)

My non-Azeri friends were touched by my effort. Clearly, the lady friend was so touched that she just wanted to do something nice for me in return. Honestly, I did not expect this much appreciation.

She noticed that I did not stop since they arrived. If I was not finishing up the dishes, I was tidying up. If I was not tidying, I was serving something, and so on.

‘Stop!’ She shouted in the break between the main course and the desert. ‘Just sit down and put your feet up! I bet you must be exhausted.’

‘ In fact’ she added,’ I will give you a foot rub. You are pregnant, you must really need a foot massage!’

I laughed, thinking she was joking. But oh, no. She was not. Not only she insisted on giving me a foot massage, she then very quickly progressed to the decision to give me a pedicure. 

You must believe me when I say I fought hard against this. I told her it was embarrassing. I told her it was weird. I told her she was too drunk and did not know what she was doing, and I did not want to take an advantage of her in that state. But, having made her mind up, she was simply unstoppable.

Having grubbed a bowl from the kitchen, she ran upstairs and reappeared with it filled with soapy warm water and a towel. She insisted I told her where I stored my pedicure instruments, and sat me down on a sofa. She even brought me a glass of water, like in a proper salon. As I sat there, feeling awkward,  she rubbed my feet with a scrub and proceeded to give me a proper (and it has to be said, a very good one) pedicure. 

Is this something she always did when she went to someone’s house for a Sunday lunch, I wondered. ‘No!’, she claimed, ‘I have never done this before.’

‘Hmm...’I said. ‘You are suspiciously good at it. I bet you tell this to everybody, like those girls who claim they “have never done this before”, or “ never do it on the first date, honest!”

To me, it was one of the most unusual friendship experiences, it has to be said. I have never had a pedicure done by a friend. OK, maybe once, a long time ago, when I was young and single, and a bunch of us got together for a pedicure party.  But now? In Britain? By a respectable middle-class lady? It was pretty surreal.

Even the children thought it was odd, let alone the husbands, who came back from their after-plov stroll, only to find us engaged in this unusual activity. I am sure they would be no more shocked if they found us naked in bed. 

Don’t take me wrong, I am not complaining. She did explain, that it was only because I was pregnant that she felt like looking after me. ‘If I ever come to your house when you are not pregnant, and I ask to give you a foot massage, then you are allowed to worry!’ she said. 

‘Ah...’ I thought, relaxing and closing my eyes for a minute ‘I guess that does make sense.’


  1. Indeed. Sexual assault is always a traumatic experience; it's good that you have an outlet to express your ambivalence.

    Speaking of which! The rape rate in Azerbaijan is extremely low compared to Western nations. Do you think this is because women are kept under lock and key, or is it that women or their families never admit the experience?

  2. That was very sweet of her :) I'm sure she enjoyed doing something nice for her pregnant friend. Pirojki look yummy too :)

  3. But, leaving the awkwardness aside, did you like the feet rub? I must confess there are times when I'd really appreciate a very nice and warm feet rub.

  4. @Mark: If only all sexual assaults were like that. This world would be a lovely, safe place!
    As for Azeri rape rate...Hmm...Fascinating. Women are definitely not kept under lock and key! It is not Iran, you know. Not yet, anyway.
    I think some of it must for sure, be never spoken of. But also, I suspect it has something to do with the way our community works back home. It is a lot harder to kidnap a child or rape/ murder someone there, because everyone watches everyone. Neighbours all know what colour sheets you have on your bed, and what you had for dinner. People are curious, interested in each other and forever watchful. Neighbourhood thing just does not seem to work as well in the West. That of course, is my theory, which might be completely wrong.

    @Nata: She was very drunk, I think. :) But I was touched ( literally and emotionally) by that kind gesture.

    @Gabriela: It was rather pleasant, but still very odd? :)))

  5. Hi Scary! You're right, giving someone a foot massage and a pedicure is a bit unusual even for Azerbaijan. Unless you get charged for that of course. But handing drunk people sharp pedicure tools and entrusting your toes to them is simply dangerous. Hope you're not missing any of your toes, are you? :)
    I'm only kidding. She sounds like a very nice, caring and thankful person. I mean look at those pirojki, who wouldn't feel thankful for them?!