Day 4: 22 Jan. 2011. Also, coincidentally, day 4 of the course schedule
God it was hell waking up this morning. But we managed to make it downstairs where Pon found us. I immediately tripped down a step then walked into a tree. Good beginnings. We followed him past the swimming pool to the breakfast area, a nicely bowered nook between the pool and part of the back gardens. 3 people were already sitting there: a French guy named Jean-Luc, a Colombian named Paola, who lives in Colorado with her American boyfriend, Don. Jean-Luc was on his way, so we didn’t really get to know him, but Paola and Don will be here another couple of days. They’re on a year-long world tour!
Sompon served breakfast, although he was much more laid-back this morning. Joking and chatting a little. I’m glad, because I know I was out of it the night before, but I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable around him.
It was a LOT of food: rice soup with pork (like what we had yesterday, with all the same sides), coffee, more coffee, strawberries in creamy yoghurt with some dark thick sweet sauce, then a fruit plate. Dragon fruit, small oranges like mandarins, a plum-like thing with a pit that Paola and Don said would make us high if we ate it, although Pon later told us was the fruit of the cashew. I’m not sure. And mango, I think. I can’t remember.
After breakfast, Pon drove us to the local market where we joined the other students in a shopping trip with explanations. I really enjoyed the coconut demonstration. We saw them grate them for different purposes, including what ages of coconut are used for what, the peeling machine. How to make the cream and milk. We shopped for everything we’d need to do the day’s lessons.
1. Phad siewe: fried big noodles with sweet soy sauce
2. Hor neung plaa: steamed fish in banana leaves
5. Plaah goong: spicy prawn salad north-eastern style (fave today)
6. Kluay buad chee: bananas in coconut milk
It was 16:30 or so before we were all done, with only a short rest before Pon planned on taking us into town (17:30). There was quite a discussion as to what we would/should do and how late we should stay. Paola said she wanted an early evening, although she was planning on meeting friends from Australia in town. Matt wanted late. Don and I didn’t care. Pon wanted Matt and I to take our included massage first. Finally, the decision was: Paola and Don would be dropped off by a temple, then we’d be taken for our massage, then picked up and dropped off at our 10pm meeting point, at a street market. Great.
The massage was honestly the worst Thai massage I’ve had (1 in Turkey, 2 in Holland, 2 counting this one in Thailand). Too soft. Predictably, Matt liked his very much. He usually does prefer more gentle. I was really surprised yesterday when he liked it. Glad, though, since I’m enrolled to learn how soon!
After, we walked up and down the market. It was ok, but very tourist-oriented. Matt bought a couple of notebooks, and I bought a pair of fisherman’s pants. They’re nice for wearing during the massage. I want at least 2 pair for when I begin to practice it. I didn’t bother haggling, for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn’t have anything smaller than a 1000-baht bill (about 25euros), 2) it only cost 190 baht, just under 5 euros, and 3) surely they’re worth that much to me. Matt made fun of me, though, because he thinks of me as an awesome haggler. I just didn’t see the point.
Matt got brave and went to one of the stands catering more to the stall-holders than the tourists, and managed to get an iced milky tea. He also ate (ate! More!) soup, like what we’d had just before the hot springs yesterday, at another stand. I wasn’t hungry, had a watermelon shake.
I haven’t been doing too well with squat toilets this time. Everything was fine in morocco and turkey, but for some reason I’m really struggling here. Too much splashing. Could it be a different shape? I don’t know. But anyway, I went to the public toilet at the market, which was extremely clean, and was almost finished when a large part of the stream bounced back out and landed all over my left foot, pooling around my toes in my sandal. Nice. Most squat toilets have a water bucket beside them, for flushing after, but this one had it’s own flush handle, so there was nothing to wash my foot with. I ended up flushing twice while holding my foot under the flush water. Then I sloshed out, asked matt if he had any tissues left in his pocket (I’d run out), dried my foot, washed my hands, and we continued on our way.
But I was a little grumpy for the rest of the time, even during cocktails.