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Bucket List – My First Pedicure


Last week my friend Penny and I got together for pedicures.  It was my very first pedicure ever, can you believe it?!  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but either I didn’t want to spend the money on it or I was freaked out about people messing with my feet.

Penny kept pushing me on it, so I finally gave in and decided to give it a go.  Another friend told us about a place in Zuidplein where she goes, so we decided to go there.

First, let me say I was  little wary.  After my experience with getting acrylic nails at an Asian Nail Farm I wasn’t sure I wanted to try one of those places again for my pedicure.  When I got the acrylic nails put on they damaged my nail beds quite badly, I also left with bloody cuticles, which was unpleasant.  I call them Asian Nail Farms because they are usually big places that just push people through like cattle, it’s more about quantity than quality.

But… it’s cheap, and that’s what keeps people going there.  It’s also what brought us there for the pedicures.

Anyhow, I was quite excited about it, in spite of my hesitance about the location.

Well, it was both a good and bad experience… It’s one of those things that at the time is frustrating but later becomes a good story you can laugh about.

We showed up at the shop and were able to just walk in, which was great.  I was so happy to see that they had those big massage chairs that we could sit in, I looooove those chairs!  I used to go to electronics shops and sit in them just for fun.

The excitement started to wane a bit when I sat in the chair they pointed to and the arm fell off.  See the arm of the chair in the photo with the remote on it?  Well, every few minutes it just flopped off to the side.  They are made to open outwards so people can turn sideways and slide off the chair, as it’s a bit awkward with the tub in front.  The swivel was broken on that arm though so instead of just opening outwards, it just fell outwards like it was falling off.  I must have picked that arm back up 100 times…  The girl kept looking at me and telling me not to do that, like I was some how purposely pushing it off.  That was when I started getting irritated.  I eventually managed to get it to sit there, careful not to move my hips at all because the slightest nudge made it fall again.

I messed with the remote for a few minutes getting my massage on, which started to ease my frustration and get me to relax.  The girl put the water in the tub and threw some sort of blue stuff in and I started to soak them and wiggle my toes against the jets.  It felt great and before long I wasn’t thinking about the wonky chair arm at all.

Aaaah, I was relaxed, I was hanging with my BFF, I was about to get my very first pedicure… this was awesome!

That is, until the chair tried to eat me!

No lie, it was like a cartoon or something, it literally felt like the chair was trying to eat me!  Look at the photo again, see that pad that’s between my back and the chair?  Well the way the chair is made, if you pull up that padded flap you see all the mechanical bits inside the chair.  I don’t know what was happening but the rolling thing that went up and down my back kept getting caught in something on the bottom of that pad and it pulled the bottom up.  This caused the pad to scrunch up into a weird mouth like shape that opened and closed against my back, trying to swallow me whole.  Even Penny was looking at me like “What the hell is going on with that chair?!!!”

The girl came over twice to fix it, lifting the flap away from what it was tangled in and flattening it out. Just when I’d start getting comfortable and relaxed, the chair would try to eat me again.

Here’s the funniest part though, when the girl would come, she’d act totally irritated with ME, like somehow it was my fault that their chair was completely buggered.  They should have moved me to a different chair, or I should have asked to be moved, but I didn’t want to move away from Penny because we were there together and trying to chat and stuff.

In the end, the girl basically just turned the thing off and was like “No massage for joo!”, so I spent about 90% of the time there in a chair that does nothing. Unless you count the arm falling off because that continued the entire time.

This was just about the first 10 minutes that I was there, and I was becoming a bit worried about what I was going to experience once they actually touched my feet.  The girl seemed totally irritated with me, because of the chair constantly messing up, was she going to take it out on my feet?!

Well, it’s possible she did, she tried to boil my feet.  True story… I SO wish I’d had my camera handy to take photos of all this, but it was behind me on a shelf and they were already ticked off enough with me.  Plus, I was afraid to move because I didn’t know what else was going to go wrong with that damn chair.  The only reason I had the above photo was because Penny had her phone on her.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what I meant when I said she tried to boil my feet.  Well, it means just that… she tried to BOIL. MY. FEET!

After all the chair massage drama was over, and I learned to just sit still like a statue, I could actually think of what was going on with my feet.  This is how it went…

Tammy:  Fucking chair…

Penny: Omg I know, what IS it with you?! You have the worst luck ever with this stuff!!

Tammy:  I know, right?!!  I swear, when I write stuff on my blog people must think I make this up, because nobody has this much bad luck.

Penny:  Nobody could make this shit up.

Tammy:  Wow, this is pretty warm, huh?

Penny (Relaxing and sighing) Nice, isn’t it?

Tammy: Yeah..

*Few minutes silence*

Tammy: Wow, this is really warm, is yours really warm?

Penny: Yeah it can get pretty warm.

*Few more minute silence*

Tammy: It’s hot, it’s supposed to be hot right,  not just warm? This is pretty hot….

Penny (Laughing): Yes, it’s supposed to be hot.

*Few more minutes silence… I start wondering what special kind of foot wimp I really am*

Tammy: It’s REALLY hot, is it supposed to be really hot?!!

Penny (Starting to feel like she is out with her three year old, I think): Yes, it’s supposed to be hot.

*Feeling like the queen of foot wimps, dying to take my feet out but choosing to “man up” instead*

*Few more minutes silence*


Penny (Mom voice): Then take your feet out for Pete’s sake!

*Pull my feet out*

Penny (gasping): OMG LOOK AT YOUR FEET!!!

*Looks at feet, feeling both horrified at the color of them, yet strangely satisfied that I’m not a foot wimp after all, that something really was wrong*

Penny: Jesus, I’ve never seen feet that red!! holy shit!

Tammy:  I TOLD YOU, I TOLD YOU IT WAS HOT!!!  That’s not normal right?!!  Mother of god, it hurts!

I think we were creating a bit of a scene because the girl came running back over, people were starting to stare, and my feet felt like they were on fire.  She messed with a dial between my feet and told me it was safe to put my feet back in.  This was after holding her hands on my feet for a bit and telling me how warm they are.

NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!  I can feel it too!

Again, I wish I had been able to get a hold of my camera, but I think if I tried to move, or asked the girl to grab it for me, she was going to stab me.  Penny tried her hardest to capture the redness but her camera phone just couldn’t cut it.  You’ll have to take my word for it.

Let’s just say, I looked like I was wearing red socks, it really was that bad. Not just red, but BURGUNDY.

It was around this time that the other girl came to work on Penny’s feet.  Penny, who all this time had been sitting in her perfectly intact chair, getting massaged and enjoying her front row seat to my horror show.  I was watching the girl clipping, scraping and cutting stuff on Penny’s feet and I won’t lie, I was truly frightened.

If a CHAIR could cause me this much misery, what would a pair of clippers do?  This girl was coming at me wielding something that looked like a cheese grater and she wanted me to let her put it near my feet.  All I could imagine was the trail of blood I was going to leave through the mall on my way home.

Yes, I know that’s a bit dramatic but seriously, I had just experienced Chinese water torture first hand.  I was traumatized!

I considered asking Penny to hold my hand, but I thought that might be the last straw for her.  This was her day OFF as a mom, after all.


In the end the pedicure itself turned out to be the best part!  There was no pain, no blood and she actually did a pretty good job!  She did all her clippy, shavey, scrubby stuff and I left with beautifully painting toenails and a lot less crap on my heels.

So, do I consider my first pedicure experience to be a success?  Oh jeez, yes and no!

No, because I’ll never everrrrr go to this place again.  That demon chair and the way the girl acted towards me because of it made sure I’ll never visit them again. A lot of the experience was uncomfortable, frustrating and even painful.

That said, I still had a great day with Penny, we went to a movie, shopped, went out for dinner and just had a really great full day together. Something we don’t get to do nearly often enough..  Even though it was completely buggered up for me, we SCREAMED with laughter on the way home telling my husband about it.  It sort of sucked a the time but now we have a really funny story to tell… AND the motivation to go do it again and try another place to see if it works out any better.

I’ll definitely go for another pedicure at some point.  I liked the actual pedicure part and I think I’d really enjoy it if I had someone a little less pissy doing it and a better chair.

So, if you want to go for a pedicure, I wouldn’t advise visiting Le’s Nail and Spa in Zuidplein.  That’s just my personal opinion though.  The original friend who recommended it and Penny seemed to have a much better experience than I did!  So, I’ll leave it up to you.

About Tammy

A Canadian living in France with her Dutch hubby after 17 years in the Netherlands. A total TV and movie junkie who is never not knitting. She also enjoys other crafts, nail art, cuddling her dogs and general geekery. Otherwise just working on getting by and making a life for herself in her ‘new’ country.

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  1. Tammy, you have really pretty feet! great toes! kinda hot ;)

  2. This is why I don’t go for pedicures… well… that and being a man.

    I think you are one of the only other people I know where I can say ‘why am I not surprised this happened to you’ :p

    I hope you have recovered and you are not having nightmares about man eating chairs and feet boiling.

  3. I got get a pedicure a few times a year, whenever I need some quick pampering. It’s pretty cheap here, less than $30.

    Some girls always seem to be annoyed with customers. Last time, I was instructed to pick a polish so I did and brought it back to the workstation by the chair. Then I asked if I could use the washroom because it was about 40C outside and I was so sweaty, I wanted to clean up a bit. Went to the washroom, came back.

    And the nail polish was nowhere to be found.

    It’s pretty obvious that one of the other girls cleaned up the work station and took it back to the shelves but the girl doing my feet acted as if I stoled it. I was pretty offended. She kept on repeating “you went to washroom”. Eventually, I just shut her up because really, I have no interest in stealing half empty bottles of polish.

    And the chairs… there is always a problem with them. Whenever I try to correct it, the girls are always quick to say “no touch” and take the remote off my hans. It’s annoying in a funny kind of way.

  4. Haha Tammy! this is the place where i always did my nails, the place where the people not talk to you and where they do not even ask if you like clittogel!
    Shame on you own that you’ve been there!hihi ;)

    regards Ellen.

  5. Monica Van Maanen

    Pedicures are wonderful, if you find the right place. I go to one in Waterloo, Ontario that my Mom told me about and it’s heaven. I had that feeling about people messing with my feet too, but this place is the best. My nails are all beautiful now. There was one that was black and ruined from all my walking and I couldn’t take it out in public. But that’s all fixed now.I wear sandals! The things they do to my feet without hurting are unbelievable. And their chairs work. :)

  6. You have the most amazing (un)luck :-)

    Pretty toes! I don’t know if I could stand to get a pedicure…I can barely tolerate sitting still long enough to get my hair cut.

  7. LMAO still. It WAS a great day but yeah nobody can make this shit up :) WE are going to a different place next time :)

  8. Is it funny that when reading originally, I read “massacre chair” and I was like “Wait, what?” and I read again, “Ohh, massage” and then I kept reading… I think my brain knew where your chair was going, hahaha!

    I want to buy a pedi egg and Ronald thinks I’m crazy! He doesn’t believe that it works! :P And I’ve always compared it to a cheese grater, too, LOL!

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