A Travellerspoint blog

May 2009

The perils of swish parties

Why hanging with diplomats sounds more fun than it actually is...

rain 30 °C
View D heads back to Asia on DenaAllen's travel map.

May 13, 2009 – 10:32 pm


Hot men in suits. Scads of them. Hot European men in suits. And I still left the party early. The European Union Commission’s celebration of Europe Day. The 5-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Ambassadors, business moguls and the women whose plastic surgery they pay for. What a bore!! To be fair, I’m sure it would have been more fun had I been a) European, b) gave a crap about Europe Day, and/or c) knew a single soul at the party.


I had a chat over a plate of porcini mushroom risotto with a very friendly young Polish man. I actually thought he was kind of hitting on me till he said he developed a taste for risotto while working in Rome. At the Vatican. It was only then that I cunningly detected the priest collar – surely I would have noticed!!


Then drank champagne with a down-to-earth Turkish couple. Looking at the long line of middle-aged white men onstage, we joked there was no room left in the spotlight for Turkey to join the EU. They told me of their eleven-year old daughter and all the exotic species one can buy at the weekend market as pets. They were nice, despite their affinity for endangered wildlife.


The folksy Turks moved on and I was left standing there looking rather at ends. This leaves one open to attack by glamazons. Tottering precariously on her stork-like legs, too high Lucite heels and too short skirt, the 6-foot “third runner up for Thailand’s entry to Miss Universe 2008” descended on me. She gushed. I cringed. She admitted that she was a professional party goer/’local colour’ scenery prop.


I could barely make out a word she was saying, something about her agent and past beauty pageant triumphs. She asked and I told her I worked for an international children’s charity. “Me tooo!!!!” she squealed. “I’m a Christian also!” ummmmmm, yeah. I shifted uncomfortably in my patent heels and started blathering about our non-religious, non-political stance. She clasped my hand fervently to reinforce all that we had in common. She wouldn’t let go of it. She was now stroking it like it was a 3 week-old puppy. I was uncomfortable and she was crazy. I made a panicked dash for a smoked salmon canapé and zigzagged to the Grey Goose vodka table for good measure.


The crowning glory of the evening was the 7-foot high pyramid of white cupcakes with mini-EU flags tooth-picked into them. I really really REALLY wanted to take a picture of it with my camera phone but felt sure that would be frowned upon by the diplomatic corps. Next time.

Posted by DenaAllen 07:49 Archived in Thailand Tagged living_abroad Comments (1)

Nekkid & blushing

And wondering how I got here...

sunny 35 °C

May 4 2009 – 8:34 pm


It’s a good thing I have a healthy body image and am not squeamish about nudity. Or else I might have been more than mildly embarrassed laid out butt-ace nekkid, face up, on the massage table with nary a sheet nor a towel to cover my fine self.

Here’s what happened.

I get chronic headaches when I’m under pressure. I’m under a lot of pressure with the new job. Massage therapy is the only thing that helps. There’s a massage joint pretty much every three feet in Bangkok, but there are massage places and then there are massage places. I’m looking for the former. Let the despicable sex tourists stick to the latter.


So I’ve been on a mission of discovery to find my favourite massage joints in my neighbour. So far I have it narrowed down to two – Lavana on Sukhumvit Soi 12 and Asian Herb Association on Soi 31. They’re fantastic. Professional, skillful and friendly. And at about $12 for an hour-long traditional Thai massage, well, a girl can’t complain.

But here’s what happened.

My buddy girl from Canada was visiting recently and we decided to try out the oil massage at Lavana as I usually go for the pajama-clad traditional Thai one. We were booked in for a “couples massage” and were on separate tables in the same room.


Our massage therapists presented us each with a pair of “disposable underwear” in plastic wrap. They were black nylon and obviously designed for Asian proportions. They looked binding. Nuh-uh. No way was I doing that. So I just went al fresco like I always do at home. Sweet Buddha under the bodhi tree. That was a tactical error of serious proportions.

The massage ladies giggled when they returned to find we’d given the nasty nylon knickers a pass. I thought they were just being prudish. Nope, they were being eminently practical. Let’s just say that the massage got a lot more, ummmm….”active” than I am used to and limbs got positioned at angles that would have made the wearing of underwear a very, very good idea. Those poor ladies got quite a show. And now it was our turn to giggle nervously.


Did I mention that there was a brisk but thorough breast massage included?? Now, I carry tension in a lot of places. I carry tension in my shoulders, my head, my jaw, my neck especially. But I can’t say as I carry tension in my breasts. Not that I’ve ever noticed at least. Please remember, these are solid professional massage therapists working in reputable salons – I can only imagine what happens in those massage places!!!

So this brings the story back to me, completely naked, on the – in my opinion – overly lit massage table at the new place. I had booked in for another oil massage. This time I was ready. I left my knickers on, no need for uncomfortable disposable ones or the even more uncomfortable scene I would find myself in without them. I was prepared.


But no. When my massage lady came in and saw my underwear she clucked her tongue at a rapid rate and went “Huh?? Nonononononoooooo!!!” while giving my bum a few friendly pats to drive the point home. She then proceeded to roll me over onto my back and PULL THEM OFF OF ME!! With the perfunctory air of a seasoned professional, she slid them over my butt, shimmied them down my thighs and up over my ankles. She then folded them neatly and placed them on the chair. Wow.

We mutually agreed that, as the A/C had kinda crapped out, the room was too hot for a towel laid over me. So on we went with the standard oil massage complete with the “active” angles and the boobie business. Good thing I’m at ease with my body. Good thing I wasn’t uncomfortable ;)


Posted by DenaAllen 04:36 Archived in Thailand Tagged living_abroad Comments (2)

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