I have never taken myself on holiday in a way that people imagine when one says, “I’m taking time for a holiday.” My holidays are normal work days interspersed with me telling myself that it is ok to take time off to paint my nails, do my hair or simply sit down at 12 mid-day have a glass of wine and watch Netflix until bedtime (9pm).

So when finally at 29-years old, I found myself with enough money to have fixed my mother’s fireplace, taken my family out for a day at the spa, assisted with payments for plumbing in the home  that I share with my partner and various other boring and expensive tasks, I decided that I deserved a holiday like the rich folks have.

I knew exactly where I would go. I didn’t even have to take time to look at the world map. I was going to see my best friend. So because I am terrified of money and technology, I booked the ticket as fast as I could and made sure that all was in order over the phone to Emirates ( I’m old school like that. The telephone call is always a must).

4months later I arrived in Hong Kong to a warm face that I had stared into for 23years and had not seen in 2. She is the worlds most ridiculous human being and she allows me to call her friend. I absolutely adore her.

So Hong Kong was great but that’s not what I want to talk about. All through Hong Kong, one can easily find massage parlors. Foot, head, hand, full body, face, basically any kind of massage that you can imagine, you will find it there. Also, one can find massages with happy endings.

So for those who are unsure, a massage with a happy ending is in fact not really a massage at all, but a pleasure giving session charged as an overpriced massage for legal purposes.

So seeing as I was on holiday and I had set my mind into tourist mode, I was out there also wanting a happy ending massage. So my friend, being the person that she is, made sure that we went out one night to a district filled with happy endings and curtained fantasies.

I was so excited, maybe a little too excited to be honest. I definitely looked like I knew I was in over my head. Every place that we tried to get into, we were shoo-shooed away as if we were little flies circling party food on a child’s birthday table.

I realised that it was because we were women looking for something that is only offered to men. Chinese women were looking at me as if I was lost and confused. Shouting at me and staring us down in doorways sagging with red velvet curtains.

At one point I managed to slip into the doorway, through the heavy curtains and catch a glimpse of tired, very under aged-looking Philippino-looking teens/women dressed as schoolgirls with Britney Spears style mini skirts and pigtails. I was not keen.

So we called it a night and went to find cheap ciders for the ferry ride home. On the ferry to Lamma Island, we got chatting to a man (old, white, British) about what our evening had looked like. He told me that he would sort me out.

The ferry arrived and we all walked, heavy in the ankles from the ciders and sway of the ocean to a little bar that stayed open until the last man standing was no longer standing. The old, white, British man was now our friend. He was telling me that he could arrange my happy ending.

He told me that he knew ‘a girl’. I hoped with all my heart that he really meant, a woman, who would love to “help me out.” I didn’t enjoy his language but here I was, doing the holiday thing like the rich folk, so why not?

He told me all of the things that I could ask for. He told me about all of the things he personally asked for. I zoned out and focused hard on not chocking on the ice in my class. At some point, he asked me if I had an issue with paying for sex. I said no. And that was that.

The night ended with him offering to pay for the happy ending for me. I told him that i thought that in a fair world this would be a wonderful gift, but the world is not fair, the world isn’t even nice. I stated the obvious, he was a rich old man, I, a black woman. Why on ear would he want to pay for my pleasure if not to somehow be a part of it? the conversation was honest, very matter of fact. We shook hands and he said he would let me know in the coming week.

I was excited. I was also a little nervous. But mostly I was pissed off that I had had to go through so much for something that boy-children literally stumble into without knowing or asking why.

I was told a story by a grown man who, when he was in his early twenties, while on holiday in Thailand,  went for a massage and came out with a fat smile. At 21- years old he was unsure if this was the norm, if it had only happened to him or if his request for a massage was miscommunicated because of the language divide. This 21-year old, white guy received a happy ending by mistake. What is this life?

My happy ending did not manifest. I was neither happy nor sad about it. My question still stands though:

Why do only men get happy endings? Also, if you are a woman and have had a happy ending, tell me about it. I want one.

Photo by Mark Wieland Photography courtesy The Ritz-Carlton