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Boreh Scrub: Spa Betty Series

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In Bali, I became a little obsessed with the reflexology. Not wanting to chase away all of my loyal readers who prefer other types of spa treatments, I sign up for my first Boreh Scrub. 


What the heck is that, you ask? Well, it’s a mixture of things like ginger, cloves, pepper, nutmeg, rice powder, and cinnamon. Like the Balinese Lulur Scrub, this paste is rubbed all over your naked body before you’re wrapped like a spiced cadaver to stew in your own juices. It is said that Boreh improves blood circulation, relieves muscular pains and headaches, and is good for healing the flu. I can’t vouch for all that, but I did enjoy the treatment. Having been to Putri Bali II for a Lulur Scrub my first week here, I choose to go to Putri Bali I to try the Boreh. 


I also decide to get a facial since I haven’t yet had one here. Typically I don’t like facials because they hurt, my nose runs, and I enjoy popping my own zits, but for $5, I can afford to take a walk on the wild side. The technician leads me through Putri Bali I’s lush garden to a private hut and starts me off with the facial. My hair is pulled back out of my face with a terry cloth band of questionable cleanliness. Then various lotions and tinctures are applied to my countenance. It’s relaxing, but is also totally something I could do at home and in less time. This isn’t like the pseudo-medical facials I’ve gotten at home from certified estheticians. There is no magnifying glass, no bright lights, no “expressing of facial congestion.” It’s just a down-home face cleanse and that’s alright by me. 


After the facial, the real fun begins. I’m given a pair of tourist panties and then the woman rubs the dark brown Boreh paste all over my body. It’s messy as hell and when all is said and done, the term “scat play” comes to mind (sorry, Puritans). It smells nice though and I am wrapped up and left to my thoughts to let the paste really work its magic. After maybe ten minutes, I am led to the outdoor bathroom attached to my private hut. The woman tells me to shower before getting into the flower petal bath she has prepared. I heed her instructions, hoping my shower runoff will be turned into some sort of Balinese mulled wine. Then I dip myself into the bath and soak my cares away while sipping hot ginger tea and watching ants scurry around the tub.

Travel Betty Basics

Putri Bali I, Legian, Bali Indonesia
Ambiance: 3.0 out of 5
Passion Fruits Treatment: 3.5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Cost: Boreh Scrub 100,000 rupiah (including tax). Facial 50,000 rupiah (including tax). What that means in U.S. Dollars: $16.21.

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