I had a good day yesterday, but the late nights and early mornings are starting to wear on me. It isn’t my choice. I’m back & trying to sleep by 9:00, I’m so tired (often earlier), but other guests are not on the same schedule. Then the staff gets busy at just before 6:00 every morning, starting with an old man who stands next to my window to cough and hack (I looked out to see this time), but moving on to a whole symphony of people and noises: talking, cooking, a child playing, etc. All right outside my window. Thanks.
So I’m getting grumpy.
But let’s hear about yesterday, which was fun.
At breakfast I ran into one of my former ITM classmates. He’s nice, but strangely motivated. After a lifetime as as builder, he’s decided to become a massage therapist. Years ago, he began a shiatsu course which he never finished. He’s here learning Thai because it’s cheap to be here learning. Here’s where it gets weird: he’s never had a Thai massage. Not even in the month he’s been here.
Anyway, we had a coffee before hurrying off to our various schools. Here are some small household shrines on my way:
At class, I very much rocked everything we learned the day before. I practiced on the monk, and she said it was great. Yay! I definitely still need practice, but I really feel comfortable with it.
There’s an older man at school who is taking the beginner course. He’s from outside Kelso, in southwest Washington, although he lives in Ecuador now. I think I forgot to mention the girl from Port Orchard I met last week. Actually, Port Orchard is funny. Every time I travel, I meet someone from Port Orchard. Those people don’t stay home! They’re usually equally surprised to meet someone from Centralia. And they’re always friendly. One time, I met a woman from Yelm at a backyard party in Amsterdam, but she actually seemed grumpy to run into someone else from the region. Weirdo.
At lunch, I wanted a little downtime, but the Japanese girls wanted to join me for lunch and walk. They are very nice, and I didn’t know how to tell them that I really wanted a little alone time. Last week, although I ate with classmates, I usually had a good half hour of quiet time afterwards. We have a two-hour lunch break this week (hard to push on full stomachs), and I’d love to just hole up with my tablet and a coffee. Today I need to run an errand over lunch, so I’ll need to ditch the ladies. Here’s the Mae Ping river, at the Iron Bridge, where we walked:
We’ve been told that coconut is very good to help our detox after abdominal massage, so Coockie gave us all fresh coconuts after class. Yum!
After class I wandered north a bit before winding back towards the center. There were some very peaceful, obviously richer neighborhoods, then eventually I crossed into a very practical area, with furniture shops, hardware, electronics, etc.
Back in the center, I stopped at one of the branches of Lila Massage and Spa. Lila was established by a former director at the women’s prison, for ex-convicts to work after release. Daan had told me she used to work there. It was very nice, mostly very professional. I had the Lila Complete package, which involved:
30 min foot reflexology
30 min back and shoulders
15 min arms and hands
15 min head and face
30 min hot compress.
She sort of thumped me with the compresses, which wasn’t very nice, but otherwise it was good. The abdominal massage includes hot compress, too, and Pare wielded them as I was taught to do.
After that, I was tired. I found an Indian restaurant where I had a delicious palak paneer with saffron rice and garlic naan, one of my favorite dishes, then went home. And was treated to screaming baby and loud stomping until almost midnight. Ugh.