Juanita, the masseuse, and I re-connected. It was good. I now have beeeeauuutiful feet.
She did the usual (well, once before) Thai massage where she basically just squeezes and massages me all over excepting a very small no-go zone. But it’s a small zone. I have discovered it is a three-part kind of thing. She goes up one section of your body, and then a second time a bit harder, and then a third time harder yet. Then, when that section is done, she does the next section in the same way. It’s very relaxing and, by the time she is done, I am nodding off.
But this time, when she was done she made me sit up (her style is to ‘boss’ and ‘bark’ at her clients. She thinks it’s cute and it is kinda in a weirdo, little, short person kind of way). She soaked my feet in some goo. Then she turned me on my stomach lying down on the bed. Feet hanging over. Then she smoothed on more goo of a different kind and then she began to treat my feet. With a straight razor!
She scrubbed and worked and massaged and scaped and cut and, when it was all done (about 30 minutes) I had feet a model would be proud of. When I got home I offered them up to Sal for a closer inspection. “I’m impressed. Nice feet!”
Yes, there was a bit of blood and yes, Juanita tried to gloss over that. You know how massage therapists are, right? Don’t like to admit they cut your foot. She just smoothed on some goo and kept right on scaping and cutting. It was nothing, really.
So, Friday afternoon was a nice spa day for me. Then I came home, had a beer and dipped into the pool. I love my remote island life. I really do. More than I can say. OTG for me. I’m a convert to my way life. But…well….in January it loses a little of it’s appeal and by then my feet need some attention. So, I dunno….
Anyway, after feeling all refreshed, we headed out on the town. Kinda.
Hua Hin, ostensibly, is the generally recognized vacation destination in this part of Thailand but it is not really, not for us, anyway. Firstly, Hua Hin is crowded, dense, lacking a relaxed, cafe-society-style street-scene’ but definitely presenting a real and busy working class ‘commercial scene’. Good for a visit. Maybe some shopping. But no lingering no sightseeing.
Huan Hin is billed as a resort town but it is clearly more of a light industrial, commercial construction town that hasn’t spent much of that construction effort on itself. Drab, utilitarian architecture mostly. Things look a bit old (100 years) and dilapidated. But it is the area hub. It’s busy. Definitely tired and overworked. Still, it was an adrenaline rush to go buzzing late afternoon into downtown Hua Hin on our scooter not having a clue and surrounded by other scooters and trucks going breakneck from intersection to intersection. Wahoo!
I can’t keep that kind of reckless disregard for life up for very long. I start to get a little nervous if I am dodging traffic in a moving bunch while driving shoulder-to-shoulder with people using their cell phones at the same time. Normally such inattention to surroundings would indicate driver confidence to me but the truth is Thailand has the highest traffic accident and traffic fatality record in the world! So, I like to focus intently on GETTING somewhere, park, take off my pathetic helmet and try to let the adrenaline levels drop a bit. Plus, after half an hour, Sal’s fingers have managed to drive themselves partially into my rib cage. We both need to wind down a bit.
So, I drove to the hub of the tourist section and we walked and drove around a bit. Stopped at the Sheraton-Hilton and walked in like we owned the place. Had to. Only registered guests were allowed in and armed security patrolled every entrance. Mind you, none of the guests were sporting ID bracelets, all were 60+ and, more importantly, all were whiter-than-white. We looked like we belonged. Lots of English, Russian, Scandinavian and French spoken down at poolside where we plopped down for a bit to enjoy an expensive beer while overlooking the hoi polloi on the beach and at poolside.
Attitude is everything: “Officially registered guests? We don’ need no stinkin’ registration, man! We white. We fat. We got on stupid shorts! Can’t you see?” I even went to the front desk and had a lovely receptionist tell me how to get to the day market and give me a ‘guest’ map. Attitude, dude.
Then, it was back on the two-wheeler and heading back into the centre of town. Found the day market. But it had just closed. Found out where the night market was but it wasn’t going to open for a few hours. So, I got a haircut and Sal bought a wooden cow-bell. Don’t ask.
We wondered if we could find the previously, but accidentally, discovered market (locally referred to as the dinosaur market) described a blog or so ago, so off we went. We found it just as it was opening and so we picked up another bag of goo (different goo this time) and headed off to search for our primary target, the Passport cafe.
The Passport cafe gets great write-ups and yet had proven elusive despite our wandering through myriad sois and alleys, roads and lanes, the last few days trying to find it. But, we did eventually. It was too early for dinner so we walked in for yet another beer. Had to. The temperature was around 30+ and, with no breeze, it was damn hot.
Seems Lek is Thai and she and her white Bostonian husband had previously lived in Massachusetts raising two beautiful children when Mike decided that he had had enough of the rat race and they relocated back to Hua Hin (with the kids). Never having owned or operated a restaurant, they opened The Passport. Three years later, it is a big hit and they are doing gangbusters. “If you come for dinner, make sure you call and reserve a pork chop if you want one. That’s our signature dish and it always sells out.”
And, we’ll go. I’ll reserve a pork chop. It will be fun. But we’ll wait until after the weekend. Seems Bangkokians come down to ‘party’ on the weekends and they can get a little crazy. And crazy means their driving is even more dangerous. Local tip: don’t drive at night no matter what but, if you do, do NOT drive on Friday night. Friday night is alright for dying and Saturday night is not much better.