The next morning was our last full day in Thailand. Mom had to teach so Sunatee had some of her students take me around for a bit. Ta, Jay, and Pui took me to the Contemporary Art Museum which was pretty cool. None of them had been there before so it fun to experience it all together. They also shared some Thai myths and stories with me so I could understand some of the symbolism in the paintings. One was a story of a woman who had two husbands. It was very scandalous since men would could multiple wives, but it was illegal for women to have multiple husbands. She was later killed of course. Anyway, there were some other beautiful paintings in the museum, which had five floors. Then we went back to the hall to have lunch. Mom and Marty were talking with people about work while their Thai collegues were asking me to try all kinds of spicy foods with spicy sauce to see if I could handle it. I think they were surprised that I liked most of the food. When we came to dessert was lots of delicious fruit on the table. They told me to drizzle some kind of sauce on top before eating it. I took the sauce and I was about to pour it on top of the watermelon.
“This one?” I asked.
“No, no, no,” they exclaimed waving their arms around the room.
“That one,” pointing to the pineapple.
So I drizzled the mystery sauce onto the pineapple and took a bite while everyone waited with bated breath expected me to scream, make weird faces, and chug a glass of water.
But when I did none of those things and actually liked the mix to spice with pineapple tang they smiled.
“This is how the royal family eats these fruits,” one of the gentlemen explained.
Hmmm, interesting. I have to say one of the tastiest and most interesting foods was a hot pink soup like dessert. I do not remember the name but I believe it was pomegranate seeds in coconut milk with some kind of flower syrup and that is what gave it the hot pink color. It was scrumptious.
After lunch I went with my entourage for a Thai massage. Sunatee asked me,
“Are you sure you want Thai massage? It’s rough.”
I explained that it was something I was told to try and I was completly willing to. She just smiled at me.
“Maybe you just try foot massage first before whole body,” she suggested.
“I think I’ll be okay,” she responded.
She simply smiled again and called her Ta, Jay, and Pui back to us. A fourth member joined our travel team, SA, and we went on our way. According to her friends she was a massage expert. We walked through the mall and arrived at the massage entrance. Ta explained to the woman in charge that I wanted a Thai massage. The woman spoke back to her in Thai and Ta translated,
“’[M]aybe you just try aromatherapy massage’ she says.”
“No, I really think I can handle a Thai massage,” I responded.
Ta explained this to the lady and they spoke back and forth for a while. We were all just laughing. I’m sure they were thinking,
“Silly white girl is about to be ripped apart.”
Finally, the woman allowed me to try the fine massage. She looked at me and said,
“[F]ine, this way madam.”
What had I done? We walked to the back of the salon and there were rows of mats laid down on a raised floor. Each mat had curtains around them that moved around like the curtains in a hospital. I was given two pieces of clothing: a big shirt and M.C. Hammer shorts. The shorts had strange drawstrings around them and I had no idea how to put them on so I poked my head out of the curtains and asked Sa how to tie them and she showed me. Then they moved me over to another bed. I was all changed and was laying down waiting for my masseuse when whooooshhhh the curtain to my left opens. It was Sa on the bed next to mine.
“Don’t worry Ms. Leah! I stay with you!”
I just started laughing. Everyone was really worried that I would not be able to handle this massage. Was this some secret form of torture? It was actually awesome. The pressure was not as hard as I expected but maybe she was just taking it easy on me. But the style of the massage itself was like a mix between how chiropractors, physical therapists, and masseuses work the bodies of their patients. She was bending me and stretching me in all types of ways and she was doing it with her whole body. For example, she used her right foot to stretch my left leg sideways.
“You okay?” Sa asked.
“I’m great,” I replied.
The masseuses talked to each other in Thai the whole time, which was interesting, and I was so curious about what they were saying. If I could pick a superpower it would be to be able to speak every language in the world. Anyway, after the massage was over, I changed and walked outside to meet the other girls.
“Are you okay?” I was asked again, this time by Pui. We all laughed.
“Yes, I’m fine,” I said.
Then we walked around the mall a bit more and went downstairs to the food court. They had me try another Thai dessert that was little spheres of a thin coconut and corn like pastry. Lots of coconut stuff here. It was pretty yummy. After walking around for a bit. We went back to the hotel and they wrote down their e-mail addresses for me before saying goodbye.
I met with Mom, Marty, Sunatee, and a Thai gentlemen for dinner at the hotel. We had to get up at 4 in the morning so I went to bed a bit early. At 4:30 am Sunatee picked us up from the hotel and took us to the airport. Luckily, there isn’t that much traffic early in the morning. We all talked for a while and then thanked her for everything and said goodbye.
Thanks Thailand. It was awesome.