Teacher training: Rihanna and the ladyboys

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in 2012 Travels, Ashtanga | 0 comments

You know how you can have too much of a good thing? I can hear you saying how you wouldn’t mind spending five weeks in a swanky resort in Thailand, jumping into the infinity pool when things get too stressful. But more recently between classes I’ve been retiring to my air conditioned room and collapsing on the bed. Thirty minutes later I can be heard muffling into my pillow, “Is it really time to move again?”

With only one more week to go, we’re tired and cabin fever has crept in. Now I don’t want you to think that I’m moaning but sometimes an escape is required. And that’s exactly what happened last night. After dinner, myself, Rachel (who loves musicals as much as me) and Pearl (previously described as Thai and huggy. This still applies.) bundled into Pearl’s car and zoomed off down the drive.

We made the ten-minute journey to Chaweng singing Rihanna at the top of our lungs. An hour earlier I’d led the group in chanting the Gayatri mantra. Versatility is a yogi’s middle name.

As we drove down the main drag of Chaweng I felt overwhelmed. Our cocoon is so sattvic – peaceful, healthy food, no alcohol, inoffensive lift music accompanying our mealtimes – wheareas Chaweng at night is brash and in your face.

Taxis and scooters vied for space on the road. We passed a McDonalds, a Burger King and a Haagen Das. The electricity cables for the entire street hanged precariously above us between lamposts. Bars and restaurants’ neon signs flashed uninvitingly and glamourous women encouraged Westerners to enter some seriously dodgy-looking clubs. Hang on a minute… those women are men! Ridiculously high heels, immaculate make-up, long toned legs and tiny sparkly dresses. They suggestively stroked their well-conditioned dark hair. They looked amazing. “This is Thailand baby!” says Pearl. “Everyone happy and welcome here!”

Western tourists looked all dolled up for a night on the town after a day in the sun. I was just looking for a massage after a day on the mat. I found a place and opted for a Thai massge with tiger balm. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had a massage in Thailand but the little cubicle where you have your massage is a bit like being on a hospital ward. There’s a curtain around the raise platform and you can hear – but never see – what’s going on next door. This can be amusing. The other day I had an Aussie couple nearby:

Aussie lady to partner: ” Oh she’s wondering what the deal is with your mesh.”
Aussie man to Thai masseuse: “Ah it’s where a bit pops out?”
[Thai girl giggles]
Aussie man tries again: “Err do you understand ‘hernia’?”
[More giggles]
Aussie lady: “I don’t think she understands.”

I never had the chance to see their faces but I think I know more than enough about him.

So I had an hour of back cracking, gentle pummelling and I came out smelling like a pot of Vicks vaporub. It was great. After, I was sitting drinking my cup of herbal tea in the reception watching the female staff chatting with the receptionist. Lo and behold, one of the masseuses was a bloke, as was the receptionist. As I left, my masseuse was standing on the doorstep ready to say goodbye. I had a good look and she was definitely female.

The three of us drove home accompanied by Rihanna and I came back to find Catherine sitting in bed calling me a dirty old stop out. She’d spent the evening chatting on Skype and looking at the pictures of Prince Harry. We were in bed by 10pm but I just kept thinking about being under my umbrella-ella-ella-eh-eh-eh-eh.

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