When I give constructive criticism to the girls I try to use the “Oreo” technique. This technique suggests that you couch the criticism in between two positives, like the white part of an Oreo in between the two chocolate parts. It would go something like this:
Haley, I like that dress that you tried on once then threw onto your floor.
Haley, please don’t leave your clothes all over the floor.
Haley, I like how you use the bathroom AND the bedroom floor for your clothes.
OK, well, I probably still need some work on my technique.
But Thailand, I have some comments for you too. Don’t think you’re getting away with no feedback. Here goes.
Thailand, you’ve got some sicc massage skillz
The signs for Thai massage are everywhere. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many places you could get a massage. And they all have about the same pricing: $6 for a one hour massage. They advertise foot massage, finger massage, shoulder and back massage, and Thai massage. I knew that I would need to do some extensive research in this area but honestly, the whole Thai massage thing had me a little nervous. So I decided to start small and I got a foot massage.
The massage place in the mall across the street has a really nice entrance so it seemed like the place to start. I walk in and ask for a foot massage. They sit me down and take my shoes, then a guy comes to rinse my feet (I’m wondering now if I’m going to get this foot massage right here in the waiting room – overthink much, Allison?). But then it turns out he was just washing my feet. Then another lady gave me some slippers and led me to a very long row of recliners. I love recliners! So I get settled into the recliner and the massage guy starts doing his magic on my feet. This is a full hour of nothing but feet, with a little below the knee action, but mostly feet. There was cream and scrub and massage and toe popping and rinsing and stretching and all kinds of things.
The massage guy was friendly and started up a conversation but we were soon scolded by the receptionist that we were being too loud. It was probably me. I tend to speak loudly when trying to help a non-native English speaker understand me. We got the point, though, and we stopped talking. I wanted to tell her on the way out, “Honestly, it wasn’t me who started it.” but they haven’t taught me that yet in Thai language class. I can say “me” and that’s about it in that sentence.
While I was there I noticed a guy in another recliner who was getting a shoulder and arm massage. What’s this!? Well, they do a one hour shoulder/neck/head/arm (or some combination of your choice) massage right there in the chair too. No oils, no taking off clothes, no getting up onto a massage table very awkwardly, wondering if you misunderstood instructions about sheets, nakedness level, etc. I took note of this shoulder massage in the chair for next time.
It was $6 for my foot massage and I was a happy camper.
The next time I came back I had the shoulder massage, which was also a head massage. It was amazing. Have you ever had your jaw massaged? It’s fabulous. And the gal did it all with me being in the recliner! At the very end I sat on a little stool and she did some additional stretching and massaging, but for the most part it was all in the recliner. I loved this because it really felt like you could pop in for a massage on your way to dinner or something. NO need for a shower to rinse off all that oil, having to re-wash your hair, etc.
So next I graduated to a full-on Thai massage. Oh lordy! It was different.
They take you into a small room that had curtains for walls. There were no beds, just foam mattresses on the floor. The lady told me to change into the pajama type things so I did as I was told. She came back in and started to massage my feet and work her way up. The best way I can describe it is a combination of a relaxing massage, a sports massage, a chiropractic treatment and yoga. It involved a LOT of stretching, a lot of very firm pressure and it was very intimate. At one point the lady was sitting on my mattress with me, she had my foot in her hands and was massaging my thigh with her feet, like a cat flexing its claws when it’s purring. I had to give up figuring out which part of her body was massaging mine, I just had to let it be. But it was fabulous.
So now we come to the white part of the Oreo: Durian
Thailand has some kind of crazy obsession with this greenish/yellow fruit. It is EVERYWHERE. It’s the first thing you see – and smell – when walking into the supermarket. All the markets have tons of stands with it, including ice cream flavors, shake flavors, everything. It’s crazy. And it’s nasty. Here’s how it went down in the Sherman house, trying it for the first time:
Wrapping up the Oreo metaphor with Mango Sticky Rice
But we can’t end on a bad note, that would not leave you all with a good impression of our beloved Thailand. So I will tell you about Mango Sticky Rice. Oh, MSR, where have you been all my life? This stuff is AHHH mazing. The rice is sticky (duh) and comes with a little sauce of coconut cream with some sugar in it. The mango is served nice and ripe and sweet and you mix all the things together to your liking. You might remember my love of dipping things from our time in the Netherlands and this treat is no exception. Only here I do not dip, I POUR. Mango sticky rice can be found almost everywhere, it costs about $3 to get a portion that, if you were not Miss Piggy with it, you would share with your family members but in fact, you rarely do. Each place serves it slightly differently and I’m still perfecting my ratios of rice to sauce to mango. It’s research that I will gladly continue to undertake for you, our dear readers.