Feet first, Hua Hin second

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. 

Beach at Hua Hin

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.

Downtown Hua Hin

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.

Poolside at the Hilton

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.

Dinosaur Market

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.

If you ever wondered how many groceries you could carry on a small scooter — a full pack on the passenger’s back, a full shopping bag between the driver’s legs and the overflow in the seat compartment.

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.

 

13 thoughts on “Feet first, Hua Hin second

    • The lady-barber in Hua Hin used the same kind of cutting device. She trimmed the hair around my ears and down the back of my neck. It is the old fold-out straight razor style but they put in a new ‘cutting edge’ with each use. I am pretty sure the hygiene standards are lower than I would prefer but I didn’t know that my foot-gal was gonna ‘cut me’. Still, I cut myself practically every day back on the OTG rock so the bleeding part is OK. I did get a bit of a rash on the top part of the foot, tho……
      Honestly, we don’t think this is really exciting. Occasionally scarier than hell on the roads but, otherwise, pretty tame stuff. We came here to write a third book. NOT adventure. I am about 25% done. By the time we leave, I hope to be 2/3 done. The author’s life is usually not really exciting (Hemingway excepted) and mostly only in their own mind. I am even duller than most.
      But YOU are fun. Living this side of the dateline, you are the first to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Moi? Mon Dieu! Old, fat, white guys on scooters amuse you? That’s some kind of weird, kinky humour you Aussies enjoy.
        Altho, much the same as my kids, when I think about it. They think we’re a bit off the rails, it seems. Sometimes.
        Most times.
        OK……all the time.
        But, like I said, ‘we are stable. We are smart. We are very smart and stable. You could say we are stable geniuses’.
        Hey! If dickhead-in-chief can say it, I sure-as-hell can.
        Well………….OK…the jury is still out on Sal’s sanity…… I admit that.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Ha ha! What fun! You and Sal’s uber-urban experience on the other side of the globe AND the comments of one of my fave, and also recently acquainted fellow-bloggers; the lovely, “untidy mind” from Down Under! May I suggest her latest, “coffee” post, for starters? Back here on the grey, wet and windy west coast of OUR home and native land, this is the sort of “small world connection” that brings a large dash of excitement to my day. No need to go anywhere now that we are connected via the weirdly wonderful Innertube! Thank you both so much, for both the blogs and the comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The BBC has a series called “Bangkok Airport” featuring vacationing Brits, and Aussies undergoing the complications of two weeks of boozing, culminating in losing a passport. Your forey into immersion Thai survivalism cracks me up. The Thai masseuse with a grip of steel and a foot fetish. Podophilla.

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  3. You are living the city life for sure. Back here holding down the fort, and everything else. The wind last night was brutal. Saw on Facebook at least one cabin roof had a big section ripped off and another cabin was discovered this morning floating merrily on its own down the lake towards the dam. A passing cabin owner towed it to shore to tie up to a snag. What are neighbours for anyway. – Margy

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    • No question; softly as she goes. Easy living. And living here like a tourist is not all bad for awhile, especially a January. But, last night (in the pool) we both remarked that ‘as nice as this is, it isn’t us’. Why not? Mostly because it is too hot.
      Thailand seems to live at 25 degrees and up. And this is their winter! It’s nice for a month. Maybe two. But, when we see all the old Europeans, Aussies, Scandanavians and Germans (even the odd Canadian and American) who have uprooted and moved here permanently, it boggles the mind as to why.
      One American explained that the ‘rat race’ drove him to it. Others were wooed by beautiful, young Thais. Some, I guess, have enough regular income to make it easy because the cost of living (once you get a handle on things) is less than half (minimum wage is approximately 300bhat a day or C$12.00. Or, given their day, about $2.00 an hour. Buy a too-expensive villa for $C150,000 like ours and cover the monthly ‘fees’ and, with local help/love/partner, you could easily live on a pension of $1000 a person or $2000 a couple. And live well.
      But sitting at least half the time beside an a/c going full tilt……
      I’ll say it again: we live happily and healthily in the best part of the world.

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      • There is a predictable pattern to your sensitivities, somehow I feel certain that the issue of the ambient temperature is something you have been aware of for the greater part of your life, I stand by my earlier characterization ” an enigma inside a paradox”
        We are always cautioned to “know ourselves” not always easy.
        So just how long will it be before you can get home to this best part of the world?
        It’s dark and wet here lately but for some of us it beats the unrelenting blazing sun.
        Even Southern California where my sal and I just returned from a two week tour, cannot out compete what we have here.
        It will all be good material l for your current writing project, plenty of pithy anecdotes to remind us to be grateful for what we have.

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      • It’s true. I am very grateful for what I have on the island. Increasingly so as I age.
        We both feel that way. But, like all things, you need to ‘change it up’ now and then and, with Thailand, we managed to do just that. It’s definitely different. But I like the difference. So does Sal. However, the sweet siren call of quilting and bookclub is starting to have it’s way with her. She’s sneaking peeks at fabric sites and following bookclub by email. By March, she’ll be happy to be reminiscing about Thailand and sewing quilts again. Me? I dunno…..kinda feeling my inner enigma, ya know?

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  4. Not an enigma, not a paradox but someone following his guts, such as tubing the Vedder River on a Cheerio or flying off the track on a screaming Bultaco 250 cc 50 mph. A man being in the moment is not paradoxical at all.

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    • Following guts or spilling them, my inner enigma is in the moment……and then afterwards, usually, a quick visit to the Emergency ward. Thanks for remembering the good ol’ days. Mind you, my current 125cc Honda scooter is remembrance enough of the old Bultaco days. The good part? I get to share ‘flying off the track’ with Sal.

      Like

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