I finally did it. I got a Thai massage. Today has been a day of hedonistic debauchery. I went for my usual breakfast and gourmet coffee at a local sculpture garden ($3.77).
Then I went to get my first non self inflicted haircut in 6 years ($2.79). Let the record show that I overpaid for this. While I was sitting in the barber chair, I noticed there was Thai writing next to the English price, with what I quickly surmised was a list of prices for the locals. With the help of google I was able to determine that I was being gougued an extra 56 cents. I let it go….just this time, but I did point at the list upon completion and winked at the barber. He knew I knew…
On my way back home I passed by the Thai massage ladies to which I finally succumbed. The massage started quite well, with a beautiful woman carefully caressing my back, but after 5 short minutes, there were hushed whispers behind me, and a sleight of hand happened by which my pretty masseuse was swapped by what I could only surmise (by the wrinkly hands I could sporadically see) was an older small woman. I was about to complain when I realized that the 90 pound woman fiercely bouncing on my back had the full on Kung Fu Grip. This woman caressed and tortured me for a whole hour, only to request $5.59 for her services. I gladly paid her that and a 10% tip which she profusely thanked me for.
Seeing that I was on a roll, I asked for a manicure, and then a pedicure, none of which I’ve ever had in my entire life. The nice lady was polite enough to only smile at the sight of a small army worth of dead skin she removed. There were some smiles and Thai rumblings exchanged that I could only guess expressed disapproval at my lack of extremity hygiene. Total price for an hour worth of pedicure and manicures…$11.17.
When I returned to the hotel ($25/night includes pool), I had a message from friends inviting me to sushi. I took my only non t-shirt to have it ironed for $0.25, seeing that I was in full-on pamper mode. I finally joined my friends for food where I dropped another $6.12, beer included.
We capped the night at a cafe/pub garden at which the expats were dancing Tango. Two beers ($4.47). Taxi ride home ($0.56). I did have to share it with some strangers, so that was mildly offensive and financially crippling.
There was a lot of tipping going around which likely threw my entire finances off. For that matter, I may have to ask to come back early from my leave of absence if I keep spending like this.
Total for the day including pad Thai lunch and hotel for one night…. $61.28. I couldn’t keep this level of spending even if my nails grew on demand.
p.s. Yes, I’m a little behind on my posts. I’m actually en route to Vietnam now (yay buses with WiFi).