I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sauna Index compared to Streets

Like the Big Mac Index run by The Economist, friend Thiru has a Sauna index. The details are sketchy, hence we would not be able to share exact results at the moment, but the theory goes like this:
  1. The quality of saunas are correlated* to the health, wealth and freedom in a country. This is kind of obvious as Scandinavian countries where saunas originated, don't do too badly on Human Development Index and other indicators. There are notable exceptions like US, which stink when it comes to saunas, but those anomalies will be corrected soon, according to the theory. China obviously needs to pull up its socks a little and not call sauna "the mulberry takes". Also, who has heard of great sauna experiences in sub-Saharan Africa? At least Thiru has not.
  2. While Thiru appreciates spas as well, which includes therapeutic baths and massages, he thinks of them as too niche (a fillet mignon compared to the Big Mac). Saunas are more accessible and thus can be used as an index.
  3. The quality is measured by a secret algorithm which has amongst other factors, temperature, service, thickness of the towels, floor cleanliness and the looks of the attendant at the reception. There is also a mystery X factor that nobody knows about. The quality needs a sign of approval by Thiru. Hence, he or his trusted have to have undergone the sauna experience themselves.
However, this is not about the theory itself. This is about a conversation I had with Thiru on reaching Hong Kong. This was for a mad one day conference where we didn't have enough time to sample the city**. We had taken the Airport Train to the city. 10 minutes into the ride.

"I wish I had more time. First time in Hong Kong. I want to walk the streets. See the people."
"I wish I had time to go to a spa."
"What? One day and you want to waste it on a spa? Kerala Ayurvedic is there, no?"
"Ya, but every spa is different. I would love to get a sauna and a massage." (Secretly thinks of his spreadsheet on the sauna index)
"Can't believe. You would actually not want to walk about, feeling the place. What about the people? How will you get to know people?"
"One day isn't enough. For that I need at least a few months. I will read The Economist instead."

And the man actually did read The Economist in the sauna in the little time that we had. Plus, he got a massage. Scott Adams didn't have that good a time though.

* Correlation and not causality
** Don't worry, Mr. D, Maverick, Anand and Gogo (in case any of you is reading this). Food was done justice to. Bratwurst and other German barbecued meats for breakfast, and a great Thai meal at Soho (one of the best squid dishes I ever had - charcoal grilled squids with lemon butter).


Blogger maverick said...

besh pet pujo cholchhe je! :) bhalo bhalo.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 8:08:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

pahle pet puja, phir kaam duja

Thursday, July 13, 2006 12:07:00 PM


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