Baby Elephant Massage

Today we went on the Island City Tour. We have more sense than to try to drive anywhere ourselves so we had to go with a tour company if we want to see the other side of the island. (Have I mentioned the motor bikes? These people are crazy! 2,3 sometimes 4 people at a time on these dinky little bikes just flying down the highway. Children ride in front, babies in the middle and televisions or fish get strapped to the back. Yes, I am serious. I have photos).

At the tour company headquarters we got to watch a monkey show, feed baby elephants, ride big elephants and see an elephant show. All fun and interesting …. Then they ask for volnteers during the baby elephant show. Not me, nunh! Then Brian disapears… Yep. My husband ran off to join the elephant show… Not something I am proud to admit.

Now I think I was very good yesterday during the Thai massages. I wasn’t bothered by some other girl slathering my hubby down with oil. (Yes, normaly I am the jealous type…. Can’t help it). Thai massage: no big deal… Elephant Massage: bad, bad naughty elephant! Brian lost his t-shirt and then at the trainer’s direction to search Brian for bananas, that elephant ‘smooched’ him all over! Then it ‘gently’ stomped him with it’s foot. Elephant massage my tush! That elephant molested my Brian! (and I got the whole thing on video.)

After wipping Brian down with baby wipes we joined to rest of the group and headed off to see a mummified monk (he died while mediating and they just left him sitting upright. He is creepily well preserved), the Big Buddah (huge, gold, sparklie Buddah.. Need I say more!?), Grandmother and Grandfather rocks (which in no way seem grandparently to me… You will see the photos) and a big waterfall. We were also supposed to go to a ‘local market’ for food and shopping. I found neither food nor good shopping. Souvineers are looking pretty slim… We do have 500 or so photos though! (I did buy a bag of coconut caramels, a chewy candy they make right at the markets. Petty yummy. I will try to stay out of them until we get home so we can share).

I was pretty tired after all of our adventuring today and said to Brian that I wished we could find someplace quiet for dinner. Someplace where we could just sit and listen to a band play. The pizza place had a Thai guy who murdered a few Beatles and Elvis songs, but played the panio really well. When we came back to the resort there had been a wedding here and they were having a big dinner on the beach with live music. (And you guys complained about the drive to Hermann!) Brian and I sat out on the balcony and listened to the band play while I typed our latest adventures.

Tomorrow I am planning another one of those relaxing days again. I’ll see if we can get it right this time. No more ten mile hikes and such. Just sitting in beach chairs and playing in the water. (yes, we have both been in the water, Mothers. In the pool and the ocean!)

Massages on the beach

Yesterday was supposed to be a relaxing day. We don’t have that whole concept worked out real well yet. There was a lot more walking and roaming around than I would have thought qualified for “relaxing”.

We had a complementary trip to the resort’s spa with our stay so we took advantage of that yesterday. Their spa is amazing. We just got the neck and shoulder massages so we sat under one of the little pagadoas in the garden. Beautiful!

Afterward we hiked the other way up the beach (we went down the beach yesterday). The beach is really deserted. Everything is very quiet. (I have heard that tourisim is down 50% in Thailand.) We cut through one of the resorts to get back to the main road. It was the other resort that we had considered before we chose the Anatara, the Zazen. It is beautiful, but it is a super long way away from …. Well, anything. Our place is just as pretty and close to the Fishermans Village. We are slowly working our way up the beach trying different places for dinner. Normally I like places where I can try some Thai food (really simple stuff… No burning spices for my tummy, thank you very much!) and a fancy fruit smoothie. Tonight, though we went really simple … Pizza. We’ve already had some food ‘issues’ today and wern’t feeling like risking anymore.

Brian had some bad cow juice this morning (haven’t I warned you people about drinking that crap? Cows belong on grills, not in glasses… Ick!). Later on our City Tour we kept being promised food, but I never found anything I was willing to eat. Pizza was a huge treat!

Anyway, on to the massages…. We found this little place that looked good. It’s kind of odd… These girls yell down the beach at you…. A little like being propositioned! We both got an amazing one hour oil massage for less than $10 each. They chatter on in Thai, which is a little disconcerting at first (I mean, are they talking about me or something on tv!?) but pretty quickly I zoned out to the sound of the ocean and the yummy massage. Then all of the sudden I notice… That pressure feels strange… This little Thai gal is sitting in the middle of my back!! I look over at Brian and he has a girl sitting on her knees in the middle of his back too! He didn’t seem to fazed… then again, his girl was a bit smaller than mine! I am not going to reccomend this to my regular massage therapist at home. It was deffinatley interesting. I want to try one of the Aloe After Sun Massages before we head home. Aside from being sat on, which wasn’t actually bad, just more suprising, a massage on the beach was an amazing treat!

Plants

Mom. What is the white flower. I can’t find a name for it, but it is everywhere.

I found a nursery the other day, but I can’t find plants that I can bring back on the plane.

I found our desert rose plants. They are everywhere! And HUGE! Brian won’t let me stuff one in our suitcase. (he is so mean!). That is a desert rose that Bri is standing next to

Food, Glorious Food

This morning I got to try crysanthymum juice. Little too sweet for my taste, but interesting none the less.

Brian seems to be having great fun with my coffee in the mornings. The coffee comes these kind of press pots… I’m not sure what you would really call it. It is a glass pot with gold feet and handle and the coffee grounds are in a filter inthe center of the pot. You make the coffee stronger by pressing the filter through the hot water. The fist morning I wasn’t sure what to do with the pot, it really took some pressure to shove the filter. Brian too over and loved figuring out how it worked. I had some really strong coffee that morning! I got ahold of the pot faster this morning. Three presses for perfect coffee.

There was some kind of fruit on the bar this morning. It had a red skin and white fruit inside with hundreds of little black crunchy seeds. I have no ideas what it was, but it was good.

We tried the mango jam and coconut jam on our crossonts. Ken, if I can figure out how to get a jar home I will bring you some mango jam. (I haven’t found too many great sources for souvineers yet. Hopefully when we go out to some of the other towns I can do some more shopping.)

We had dinner at the Happy Elephant on the Beach last night. I had a strawberry and coconut ice cream sundae for dessert … Yum! Shrimp with fried noodles for dinner.

We still haven’t been brave enough to try eating anything from the street venders. I was tempted by the banana pancakes, but fish?… Not so much. There are all these little carts on wheels welded to motor bikes. People drive around and serve food out of them. I see people eating eating out of them all the time and they don’t seem to be curling up and dying on the street….. But….

We are once again up too early. Nothing in Thailand seems to get started before ten at the earliest…. Noon more likley. Dinner seems to get going more around seven.

Brian is reading our horoscopes out of the Bangkok newspaper. Better get going!

Paw-ed Thai

Brian is already going into pet-withdraw. Everywhere we look there are cats, dogs or water-buffalo. (okay, I am the one who wanted to pet the buffalo).

Calico cats are everywhere! Tons of dogs too. They all look healthy enough. Not fat, but certainly not starving.

I picked up a buddy the other day while we were walking to the Fishermans Village. A black dog that trailed us for a while then decided to try and lead us. One of the shop dogs, a fericous shitzu, ran him off while Brian and I checked out the shoes.

Shopping in Fishermans Village

Shopping is something I am usually pretty good at. So far I’m not the super shopper. For one thing I think we went too early. (how do you like that Mom? I was awake and moving too early!)

Brian and I decided to hike down the road to forrage for food and water. (the mini-bar requires a down-payment of 1 kidney). On our way into the resort we saw a 7-11. I don’t remember it being as far away as it turned out to be. Dang thing must have moved over night! Anyway… Fishermans Village was not much further and we decided to venture on and shop and eat.

Thailand is one of those places that has a foot fettish. No wearing shoes in home or shops, no pointing with your toes or showing the bottoms of your feet. So everytime you go into a shop your shoes have to come off. Gets kind of annoying when each store is the size of a large closet and they are piled one next to the other. At least I was wearing flip-flops. Poor Bri had shoes that Velcro-ed. (He bought flip-flops while we were out).

Apparently barganing is supposed to be standard practice. I am crappy at barganing. To begin with I can’t divide by 34 in
my head! Second I feel like I am being rude by offering less. Just tell me how much the blasted thing is and I’ll give you the money. Or actually, Brian will give you the money because he CAN divide by 34 in his head.

I did finally end up with a pretty cute little black and white dress. 20$ I think. Maybe? Brian handed over the pretty Monopoly money and the girl gave me the dress.

We found our 7-11 then and hiked back to our room with our treasures. I think they may have moved the hotel while we were gone. It didn’t seem like it should be such a long walk!

Death on Wheels

Let’s talk about traffic for just a moment. Or as I perfer to think of it: Death on Wheels. Or maybe: Road Kill Highway.

These people are insane! First of all the cars are all right hand drive. Which means not only are the drivers on the wrong side of the car, but the cars are on the wrong side of the road! Then there are the motor bikes or kamakazi bikes of death. Now the lanes are only about 3/4ths of a cars width wide to begin with and the motor bikes “share” the lane with the cars. By “share” I mean they drive where they damn well please and the cars can fend for themselves.

Yes, there are sidewalks. The motorbikes use them too. Pedestrians are just targets. Brian spent most of our walk shoving me to one side of the sidewalk or the other as I tried to stick my nose in every store.

Did you know that tourists can rent cars or bikes? Don’t worry Mom, there is no chance of us doing that. Just thought it was interesting to mention. We are not that brave. Zip-line through the jungle? Eat a fried grasshopper? SCUBA dive?
Sure! Drive through the streets of Thailand? NEVER!

Food!

What is a vacation without food?

I adore the fresh fruit! Fruit doesn’t taste like this at home. At home they must be feeding us fake fruit. I swear I have eaten bananas at home, but they taste nothing like the things called bananas here. I’ve tried things today that look like strange little alien fruit…. Ra… Ummmm I forget what they were called, but they were yummy!

At breakfast I had a juice called padana leaf juice. Wierd. Smelled salty. Tasted kinda sweet, but light. Not a favorite, but still interesting.

Lunch (in a beachside cafe!) was delish! Shrimp with Thai noodles. And fresh mango juice to drink. So yummy! The view so pretty.

I want to try one new thing at each meal. I am feeling like a brave traveler again. (amazing what sleep and food will do!)

Getting through the night…

Little did i know that Ron’s wedding sermon would come back to us so soon. He asked what did Brian and I get for all the promises that we had made to one another …. We got each other. Someone to love and lean on. Someone to help us get through the night.

Our first night in Thailand I got a roaring headache. I used to get these headaches all the time from an accident I was in years ago. With yoga, massage and paying fanatical attention to what sets them off I haven’t had one in over a year. Well the plane ride gave me a bit of a krick in the neck and when we made it to the resort we laid down for a short nap that lasted ten hours. By the time we woke around midnight here I was starved, but feeling too naseaus to eat.

I think I gave Brian a scare. He kept trying to feed me ( we hadn’t eaten since Bangkok the morning before. When he told me that I cried). We ordered room service, but the smell made me sicker. Brian even gave up and started trying to feed me from the room’s stocked bar ($8 a candy bar). Bananas finally seemed a safe bet. After two little bananas I felt human again.

No longer in pain or naseaus, we watched the sun rise from our balcony. Hallmark perfect.

Ron was right (don’t tell him I said that) even though there was nothing Brian could do to make the pain go away just having him with me made the night bearable. And the sunrise all the more beautiful.