Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Honeymoon - The Last Episode

Electricity cuts are something most South Africans are used to, thanx to Eskom. We all grumble and complain, but get on with our lives candle-lit and relatively hassle free. In Thailand, however, power failures are close to being a disaster! Especially in the middle of a monsoon!

You see, rain in Thailand isn't exactly synonymous with earth calming, refreshing, clean or cooling like it is back home. Oh no. It is close friends with hot, humid, thickly muddy, sticky gassy fumes swelling up form boiling, sizzling earth. They run around in a thug gang together and get you all steamed up!

So when you feel like you can't breathe for all the moisture around you, (like the oxygen content in the air is being chocked by the water content, falling down in liquid torrent form, rising from the ground in thick gaseous form), and you start to grow jungle-rot heart-stoppingly close to your bits, you want electricity, and with it, AIRCON!
But, alas, when the power cuts out, you wallow around in your warm rashiness and wonder 'Why me?' as the cruel gods of electricity laugh down on your steaming soul.

Fortunately for us, it only lasted a week. And in that time, we spent our days going for massages to help detract from the humidity. The ladies in the spa got to know us well, and seemed to get a kick out of the fact that they had to bring me the mens (large) slippers every time.

EVERY time.

I am 6 foot, and so, proportionally, have feet that are significantly bigger than most Thai ladies. Most ladies of any nationality, come to think of it. I'm a good solid size 8 (so as not to fall over) and when they brought out these teensy weensy little china doll slippers for me, my feet would only go in as far as the toes. So then, - EVERY - TIME, they would look at this, giggle apologetically (or mockingly?) and rush off to fetch me the mens slippers instead.

I didn't feel too bad though. Husband barely got his toes into the mens slippers either...so I guess in Thailand, we are just very big people. Needless to say, we spent a LOT of time washing our feet, as is the custom before entering a room, when your feet have been in immediate contact with the earth outside.

Amongst the massage ladies there was a lovely little thing called 'Tear'. The prettiest of the lot with the softest hands and nicest nurturing technique. I would hope and pray I get her each time we went, but only seemed to hit the jackpot 1 out of 3. The rest of the time, I would be taking my chances with the skin-burning, hair pulling, mozzie slapping, garlic burping ladies. You would be lying there, minding your own business, and suddenly a SLAP would make contact with your left thigh. Massage lady of the day (not Tear) obviously spotted a mozzie, and of course the only thing to do was splat it, right there and then, in the middle of your soothing, stroking session, right against your skin. Yeugh.

Then there were the burps. Loud and un-expected burps. Ones that smelled of all foods Thai (in other words, heavy garlic, chilly and loads of lemongrass) Husband and I would take turns holding our breath as our adjacent massage beds were circled and burped over periodically.

Then the hair pulling! I was quite surprised by this one. It was only one of the ladies who seemed to enjoy this technique, and every time I got her, my hair was pulled within an inch of it's roots! Usually at the end of the massage, when she was done with the rest of me and I was feeling pretty darn tenderized. Then the hair pulling would start. She would clamp on to small chunks of hair, yank outwards with a great big tug, and then with equal effort and speed, smack back in again, knocking her knuckles against my skull. Incase I didn't notice the hair pulling, I guess. Like 'Hello! Big-Foot Lady! I'm pulling your hair! Knock knock knock! (on skull) Anyone at home? Hellooooo!'

But the most 'unique' of all, had to be the skin-burning. Either with coal heated bags of spice called Thai Herbal Balls, or with herb mud-packs, boiled to a nice volcanic paste - then spread up and down your spine where it can simmer and burn to its hearts content! And as soon as it had cooled down and you lie there thanking your lucky Buddha that even in this humidity and heat, things can cool down, THEN they would press boiled stones against it till the molten heat rises again.

Kind of like someone is standing there ironing your back.

Poor Husband got the worst of this, because on one particular occasion, he was sunburned. That didn't stop the massage ladies! No, they were DEDICATED. They applied heated elements to his pink back, sizzling and singeing, and he told me afterwards that the most relaxing part of that massage, the very BEST part, was the moment that he realized it was all over!

Having said all that, the massages were still wonderful (mostly) and being rubbed up and down in those little jungle huts, surrounded by butterflies, squeeky-toy sounding birds, frogs and exotic flowers was a memorable experience I would do over and over and over again! And the massage ladies were all really sweet. In fact, all thai women seem to be very sweet. We only ever came into contact with one grumpy thai lady, and I suspect that she may have been an import.

We also only ever came into contact with one 'manly' thai man. Maybe it's just a limited observation based on my short 3 week stay, so forgive my ignorance if I am wrong in saying this, but most Thai men are, well, girly! I watched them in astonishment, one after the other, wondering where all the testosterone went? No matter what their age, it simply isn't there.

Though scruffy at times, thai boys seem to start off in their youth as girlishly-boyish, then become skinny, androgynous adolescents. As young men they could pass for any eastern supermodel female type with perfect skin, especially when their hair is grown long and silky, all the way down their backs. Then they seem to bypass middle age completely and become gap-toothed, decayed and old-man narky. I was very confused, but do have a better grasp of the reasons behind the ladyboy sex trade Thailand is so famous for now. I mean it had to happen right? Looking like that, they had no choice!
Photograph by Randy Magnus
When Husband told me that there is an airline in Thailand that is entirely staffed with these ladyboys as air-hostesses, I nodded knowingly and said "Well, of course" with newly acquired broad open-mindedness.

I had to keep reminding myself, however, while passing yet another drop-dead-gorgeous specimen, that they were in fact men, and that Husband was not staring at them for any other reason than the same reasons as me.

But I was happy to get home, where my competition is all within my own gender. Because competing against men who don't have those pesky cellulite molecules in their body, well, that just isn't fair!

(For more pics of these ladyboys, see The Katoeys of Nana Entertainment Plaza, by Randy Magnus photographer)

Monday, 30 May 2011

Honeymoon Continued

As mentioned in my previous blog posts, Husband and I recently went to Thailand on honeymoon, where we spent a loooooot of time drinking cocktails in the sun. At first, guilt prevented us from drinking alcohol before noon (though it didn't stand a chance at 12h01...)

We drank pink cocktails, blue cocktails, purple cocktails, green cocktails, yellow cocktails, multicolored cocktails.

We drank cocktails with cherries in them, cocktails with heart shaped pineapple slices on them, cocktails in hollowed out coconut shells, cocktails with lemongrass and chilli, cocktails with tomato and celery, cocktails with dragon fruit and cocktails with kiwi.

We drank the long ones, the short ones, the martini-glass shaped ones and the big fat guzzler glass ones. But after a while of trying absolutely everything on the cocktail menu at the beach bar...thrice...the cocktails themselves were the reason we stopped.

Now, if you have never been to an island for an extended holiday, never spent 3 weeks lying around in the sun, sipping on the sweet and heady nectars of pirate-strong rum and fermented tropical flavored marge-something-or-the-other-'s, you simply will not understand what I am about to say next:

We drank ourselves sober.

Oh, how my mother would be proud :)

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Happiness Is...

...when you run into an ex, and you are looking way hotter and way happier than he is!

This just happened to me, and I feel the need to immortalize this decedent 'You Suck!' moment in cyberspace, incessantly!

I dedicate this wonderful incident and feeling to each and every woman out there who has ever been wronged by a low life, and I send all my shallow (but well deserved) pleasure to you with the Fairies of Sisterhood!


The Location:

  • Woolworths Food store, just off Glengariff rd, Sea Point

The Day:

  • Gloriously wintery
  • With soft cloudy 'perfect-face' lighting

The Preceding Events:

  • I was having one of those ghd's (good hair days, curly style) 
  • Make that a gEd! (good EVERYTHING day) 
  • Thanx to the lazy wintery sunday morning, I was the barer of a good solid 10 hours sleep, and feeling fresh of face and beautifully rested
  • Thanx to my latest no-booze detox, I spent ALL of those 10 hours of sleep rejuvenating an already not-too-bad complexion, rather than attempting to solve a self-inflicted bout of hung-over roguishness
  • Thanx to my trainer, The Herminator, I was looking sleek and slender in all the right places. 
  • And thanx to my special friend, Princess A's birthday party, I was dressed to impress! (I have a reputation to uphold, you know) Dark blue skinny jeans, soft grey jersey, japanese silk scarf, white italian cashmere coat, and beautiful beautiful boots!

Which brings us to...The Shoes:

  • My latest and most decedent Nine West knee-high boots; a heavenly creation of baby-suede shoe cradle, pearly grey snake-skin-like shaft, topped with fluffy grey and white rabbit trim
  • Real leather. Fake fur

The Point of it All: 

  • He cheated on me. A long time ago, I know, but he got the last laugh in our relationship. Left with, and married the cheatee, while I spent many miserable lonely nights crying into bad bottles of crackling (the champagne for the young, poor and broken hearted who don't know any better)
  • But not only did he cheat on me, he took my self-respect and self-worth while we were dating, kicked the crap out of it, hooked it up to the back of his car, dragged it all around town behind him through gravel and mud, spat on it, stomped on it and basically turned me into a shadow of a woman - aka the simple pathetic naive little girlfriend of his
  • Oh, and he broke up with me, lured me back, broke up with me, lured me back, broke up with me etc for about a year and a half before the cheating incident ended the whole nightmare with a loud and grand cheating bang

The Unfolding Event: 

  • I breezed into woolies, smiling and laughing at something Husband had just said, and there he was. Mr Ex. Scowl on haggard face. Receding hairline (haha)
  • I saw him and knew it was him, but ignored him with JUST the right amount of 'in-your-face' time 
  • ...so that he knows 'Oh yes, I saw you. Oh yes, you don't deserve my acknowledgment, you dirty cheating bastard. Oh yes, I haven't forgotten. Oh yes, I have noticed your slumped shoulders and missing ring on finger'

It was one of those moments you always dream of after a bad break-up, but never actually happens outside the private realms of your own imagination. THIS is how I know God is a woman, and She is watching over me. She made the slime-ball bastard of Her creation (not Her fault how he turned out) squirm uncomfortably as I was given the gift of standing close by watching, pooled in the light of poetic justice.

The Cherry on the Top:

  • I was there with Husband, glowing with my usual in-loveness when he is around
  • AND, of course, I had my big-ass diamond on my finger! 
  • And we were whispering conspicuously in the que behind the ex, (like two school kids who know all the latest goss on the school skank), all about him, and his dirty rottenness
  • And we got to mock his stupid outfit. Pants half way down his butt, like an unkempt gangsta-wanna-be teen...exactly the same look he 'sported' 10 years ago when I dated him. He obviously hasn't grown out of it yet

This is one woman who, without the lowlife of an ex in her life, has blossomed on to a life fantastic! The ultimate lovable Husband, her new-found taste for genuine French champagne, and delirious happiness with full fledged newly weddedness seeping from her every hair-flip. And the one thing the ex wasn't was stupid.

So Oh yes, he totally got it.

She who laughs last, laughs with the most awesomeness :)

Honeymoon part 3

Husband and I recently went to Thailand on honeymoon. I was warned of the humidity and its effects on hair before we went, and thought I would prepare myself with a nice (insert salon product name here) treatment and a big bottle of (insert salon product name here) conditioner. The words people used while giving me heed, went something like 'fly-away', 'frizzy' and 'unmanageable'.

But what I experienced was something else all together! It was as if each strand of lovely freshly highlighted hair became solidified into thick and heavy clumps. Some new form of rope-like Tarzan-swinging root!

And to make matters worse, my beautiful, pre-wedding-prepped blonde crowning glory (says she with her mothers words "Pride comes before a fall" ringing in her ears) took each and every water molecule the island offered, and SUCKED it in, with full-henna-effect! Basically, the sediment in the water died my hair red. Not even red, more like muddish ginger to be precise. Lets face it - somewhat less attractive, right?

Each day was a battle in the mirror. I would huff and puff, trying to persuade a comb through, and then give up and say to Husband whimsically: "Remember the days, you know, before we were married, when I was blonde and could brush my hair? Ah, those were the days..." and then I would laugh in an attempt to not cry. Husband, being of the 'less is more' variety when it comes to hair, did not have any of these problems, and being a man, tended not to understand.

So as my Rapunzel locks transformed themselves into one singular gingen dread-lock, I adapted an attitude of 'Conditioner is for Sissies' in self preservation. And I also vowed to write strongly worded letters to ALL those salon product companies that make promises of perfectness, and suggest that they should really add a 'Not Applicable in Thailand' clause.

I tell you I have never been more happy to get home to Cape Town, where a respectable amount of moisture floats through our atmosphere, and where I am once again strawberry-blonde and manageable. Well, my hair is, at any rate.

...Though I am thinking of dying my hair red for the winter...

Because I'm worth it.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Honeymoon part 2

The carbs, oh the carbs!

For months before my wedding, I had done carb-exorcism from my life. Our house was purged and the smoke of the fire of my Bridal Willpower loomed protectively round our perimeters so that no carb bearing person dared enter. Even those who had recently partaken of a carb-based meal didn't venture near for fear of my righteous "Right, 100 minutes on the skipping rope for you!" indignation.

But on honeymoon, on the island, Husband and I were in a carb encrusted paradise! I ate carbs all day long. Every meal was a carb frenzy! And it was not of the 'good' carb verity, mind you (carrots, whole grain, wild rice, sweet potato etc) Oh no. I ate unabashed, unashamed, unadulterated CARBS! Sticky refined white rice, pasta, sourdough rolls, white bread, brown bread, french loaf, gnocchi, dumplings, pastries, chocolate croissants, dew cakes, banana loaf, more bread, egg noodles, fried rice, cannelloni, lasagna, french toast...and then to top it all off, pizza and fries! And Pringles as snacks. 3 weeks of glorious full-throttle carbo-loading!

I actually, and I know I am going to regret saying this, got sick and tired of carbs.

OK I take that back.

Anyhow, that still didn't stop me. I had carbs with my meat, carbs with my veg, carbs with my salad, carbs with my shrimp, carbs with my crab. Carbs with my coffee, carbs with my eggs, carbs with my fruit - I even had carbs with my carbs!

But alas, just as with the TV series 'Gilmore Girls', all good things must come to an end. Sad.

But hey, there's always re-runs :)

Thursday, 26 May 2011


Honeymoon for me was a bit of a seasonal surprise. Like buying a Hello Kitty lucky packet, and, 'SURPRISE!' getting a G.I.Joe action figure inside. Husband had booked a trip to Thailand specifically in the DRY season, as we both agreed that honeymoons should be spent far far away, lost on a beach, cocktails in the sun, with as little clothing as possible.

Unfortunately, we were met by an "Uncharacteristic low pressure bubble for this time of year", according to the Sky News weather man. In other words, a full on monsoon!

The rain lashed, the rain poured. Not cats and dogs like it does back home, but Lions and Tigers and Bears! Oh My!*

It rained and rained and rained and rained and RAINED. First for hours, then days! Then, just before a whole week had splished past, it had the decency to stop. And just in time too! After the floods, mud slides and electricity cuts, I was about to need my umbrella while sitting on the bed in our room reading. Clearly the thatched roof in our adorable little island style bungalow had absorbed about all the thai precipitation it could handle, and Husband and I were being sprinkled on in our sleep. A holy experience? I think not.

We did, however, thank our lucky Buddha (as one does when one is in that side of the world and one is surrounded by the gods of their particular thai persuasion) that the rain stopped and Husband and I could get back to our honeymoon, far far away, lost on a beach, cocktails in the sun, with as little clothing as possible.

*The Wizard of Oz (1939)