One of the things Thailand is famous for is the Thai massages. There’s a place here in the village of Doi Saket, and Heike calls them for us and arranges for an appointment at 1 o’clock.

We take the scooter and drive there in less than ten minutes.

Our massage center

Our massage center

We are met by a couple of smiling Thai women of indistinct age. Heike told us it is very hard to estimate a woman’s age here. Up till 40 or 45, they look very young. But then, very quickly, they look very old. So the women at the massage place can be anything from 20 to 45 years old.

None of them speak English, so we are at their mercy. One of them hands us a big shirt and trousers and directs us towards a sort of closet in which to change into these clothes. When we come out, two of the women are waiting for us. They indicate that we should lie down on our backs on two massage beds. And then they get to work.

Thai massage

They both have different approaches to the massage. I peek an eye from time to time to see what’s happening to Christophe, and he gets a different treatment than me. But there’s one similarity: it hurts!

View from the bedroom window in the morning

View from the bedroom window in the morning

As small as these women are, they are very strong. I’m sure mine can break every bone in my body if she wants to. In fact, I regularly get the impression she’s not far from doing so… Instead of breaking my bones, she digs her fingers into my muscles so hard, it makes me want to cry. I very soon regret asking for a 2-hour massage. 10 minutes of it would have sufficed. I’m convinced my body will show the evidence tomorrow; I’ll certainly be black and blue all over.

Why anybody would willingly submit themselves to such torture and even pay for it is beyond me. Most amazingly, there’s a man snoring a bit further down the line. I can’t even relax, let alone fall asleep! I’ll take an Ayurvedic massage any time, but doubt I will ever do a Thai massage again.

Christophe used to undergo Thai massages regularly in Kassel (Germany), and he loved them. But this one is too harsh even for him.

When they are finished with us, we are offered a cup of tea and bananas. A peace offer after they’ve had their way with us.

The bananas here aren’t like any bananas I’ve ever tasted. They are small and thick, and they taste heavenly. The massage parlour has a big altar with all sorts of (Buddha) statues, and there’s always a “hand” of bananas there as an offering. When those bananas get to be really ripe, they are offered to the clients, and the Buddha gets a fresh offering of young, green bananas.

Doi Saket Tuesday Market

After paying 600 bhat, we leave and go explore for a bit. We visit the local Tuesday market where we buy some fruit. We take our time to look at everything. There are some unknown fruits and vegetables there that Christophe photographs so we can ask Heike if she knows what they are.

Once we’ve seen everything, we head for Papa’s Garden to eat. Only to find that it is closed. As is every other decent restaurant. Apparently, Tuesday is the day all restaurants are closed around here. So we end up at the neighbours: Phoo Na. Fortunately, Phoo is open. Heike and the dogs join us by the end of our meal, and we walk back home together, in the dark.

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