Welcome to sunny Hua Hin where you can laze by the pool or swim in the gentle sea or walk along the beach. Unfortunately, none of these currently applies. Lying by the pool in the rain while your book turns into papier mache has little appeal nor does walking along a beach fighting through a downpour. And if you venture into the gentle sea you join a massive and welcoming population of jellyfisss (local pronunciation with a long hiss at the end to emphasise the unpleasantness of the creatures.) These are particularly ugly jellyfisss, the size of garbage bin lids and coloured blue so you can be cuddling one in the water before you realise it. Jellyfisss have no brains, so you can’t reason with them. Like hammerhead sharks, I don’t know why they were created.
The upshot of this is that we’re rained in. But massage, the great pastime of Thailand, goes on undeterred. Based on a recommendation from the food tour operator, we tooktook a tuktuk to a modest establishment not far from our hotel. It was run by a very attractive Thai girl and three rubbers – as distinct from tuggers. Two were youngish and there was one lantern jawed auld boiler. The two youngish were busy rubbing behind curtains. Michelle, of course, was allocated Very Attractive while Fraser, as usual, got the auld boiler. At least this was to be an oil massage, thus no abrasion like the last auld boiler’s body scrub. I was nonetheless apprehensive, but this auld boiler turned out to be a real pro. Since I couldn’t see her, (I was either face down in the bench aperture or face up with a towel over my eyes) the only substances in existence in the universe were my creping body and her hands of firm rubber. The greatest benefit was to my neck, which had been sore and stiff for weeks. I’d say she made a 50% improvement in it. I’m therefore going back again until I can enter Neck of the Yearand be a contender.
While we were in the shop’s waiting area a man emerged post-massage from the curtained -off section and we got talking. He was Belgian and had come to Hua Hin seven years ago on holiday. He had never been married and was quickly seized by a Thai girl with a view to whizzing him up the isle as quickly as possible. He bought a house for them but had to put it in her name to comply with foreigner land ownership laws. He soon discovered that his was a marriage made in hell. Divorce followed, and she scored the house. However, he loved the Hua Hin lifestyle and retired from his job to settle here. He now rents a house and has a beautiful Thai girlfriend. His comment on Thai girls is that they all have bad eyesight. “They call me handsome, so I know they can’t see properly.”
The night before last I had a particularly bad attack of toothache which I still think was the fault of Emirates, but the anger didn’t get rid of the pain. I had three alternatives. I could wait until I arrived home and see my long-trusted dentist, or I could go to a local dental clinic variously called Extractopan, Thripdrillers and Nohurtu or I could take the Hong Thong spirits cure which relieves you of caring about anything. Since the clinics were closed and my dentist was a week away, I chose Hong Thong. It not only banished the pain but today I have no hangover and my tooth has kind of settled down. A business is now staring me in the face. Some crowd funding and a simple change of label is all I need:
HONG THONG PAINKILLER! Especially good for toothache. Taken orally, this pleasant -tasting remedy is a natural molassesproduct. Warning: can cause drowsiness or slurred speech. Users should not be in charge of vehicles, operate heavy machinery or sign important documents for 36 hours after the last dose.
At The Intercontinental, as at many Asian hotels, breakfast is an event of major proportion. There is particular pressure on egg departments to produce a variety of egg dishes quickly. As I understand it, when the International Egg Preparers Union renegotiated ordering terms and conditions The Interconnectional supported the move with an egg ordering mini-chart, in the form of a block of tear-off coupons bearing the table number and a dizzying array of ways to cook an egg along with additions and subtractions of ingredients. After taking some trouble in filling it in with the egg-pen provided, one is required to present it to the Egg Captain who stares at it as though he has never seen it before and then hands to an eggling (lower ranking egg cook) who prepares the dish. Gone are the days when you could march up to the man in white with the tall hat and ask for two poached eggs. It’s all gone upmarket-automated. In my case, I carefully formulated an omelette, presented the mini-chart to the Egg Captain and waited at my table. Twenty minutes later I was still eggless. Apparently, the new regulations had failed to specify that the egg had to go somewhere after cooking. I spied it sitting like a poor little orphan on a shelf behind the eggery. Everybody very sorry.