Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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20
Dec 02
Fri

Of Food and Massages

Nearing the end of our so-called “eating trip” in Hat Yai. It’s a small city, or large town, near the Malaysian-Thai border. We arrived here late Thursday afternoon. Although we are not here on a tour, we had hired a tour bus to drive us to our hotel. The tour guide gave us the usual spiel about the city, including a mention about the “agua show” and the “sexy show”. He took great pains to emphasise that the “agua show” (a transexual cabaret) was a family show, whereas the “sexy show” was… well, not. After a large scare involving my grandmother losing her passport (she was extremely lucky as it was eventually recovered intact, being lost on the bus which took us to the hotel), we headed straight for food. Dinner was on a hillside restaurant overlooking Hat Yai. The view was quite nice, although in the daytime, the city transforms into a grey slagheap like most other Asian cities. A$13 bought us a two hour massage (including tips) which we had in our hotel room. My goodness, a one hour remedial massage back in Oz costs $50. I was sharing a room with my American half uncle. The earliest we could have booked our massage was 11pm, so we were half asleep by the time they came up. It seems that because of Hat Yai’s proximity to Malaysia, that the Thai here know how to speak Hokkien, along with most members of my family. I, of course, do not. So my uncle is busy making banter with the masseurs (masseuses?) while she’s walking up and down his back, and I’m there clueless, trying to figure out if my masseur is trying to tell me to sit up or turn around. Turns out that my uncle’s masseur was having trouble with his somewhat larger frame, and was calling him a fat ass (in that many words). Nonetheless, very refreshing, no problems getting to sleep that night!

Today we went out to the markets where mum went crazy and bought out half a store – over 10kgs of preserved junk (nutmeg, dried mangoes, cuttlefish, etc.). In the afternoon we went for a reflexology session (foot massage). Again, very refreshing, although the guy did get a bit over zealous and as a result I now have a bruised left calf. Then I got a surprisingly decent A$4 haircut despite the barber not knowing a word of English (he just started cutting, no questions asked). The food here has been wonderful: fresh, sweet coconuts and mangoes, suckling pigs, pigs trotters, crabs and so on. Beautiful. (Kev & Em – I’m back on a one day cycle!) We leave tomorrow morning for Singapore, and leave the following day for Hong Kong. I think I have time to slip in a midnight viewing of The Two Towers on Saturday/Sunday in Singapore.

I swear, Australia needs 24 hour eateries. We arrived in Singapore on Wednesday at 11pm. The plane was 90 minutes late because Qantas misplaced someone’s luggage. After dumping our bags with relo’s, went off for a second supper (first one was on the plane) at 1am. Love it. This place is about to close, so I’ll be off now.

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