Well, I've certainly had an interesting few days. I've just returned from Bangkok where I shopped till I literally dropped.
Arriving at about 3pm, we struggled with our tiredness and dragged ourselves to the local massage parlour where I had a traditional 2 hour Thai massage for the bargain basement price of 45 dizzas, or around $20! To look at, the Thai ladies are quite little, but boy are they mean when it comes to massage! My masseuse clearly thought I was far more flexible than I actually am, and poked and prodded me while I squealed and giggled like a ticklish schoolgirl. After requesting her to go easy on me, it was rather enjoyable and I think I even lapsed into unconsciousness for a while.
Returning to the hotel, we ate at a restaurant close to the hotel in the stupefied silence that comes with jetlag.
The next morning, we shuttled to Hong Kong and while I wont admit my navigational error, I will admit that I had a big one! We spent about 5 hours at Hong Kong's airport, shopping at duty free and eating ourselves into oblivion at the crew lounge, complete with massage chairs. We ate spring rolls, sandwiches, chips, salad and the winner in my opinion - malted soy milk in a can. Hmmm....
Back in Bangkok the next day we hit the markets at Mo Chit - I have no doubt these markets are the biggest in the world. Size wise, they leave the Queen Victoria markets in Melbourne for dead. Apparently they cover 8 football pitches or something outrageous. As we arrived on the air train, we had a bird's eye view from above and I can confirm that many a football field would have fit in between all the food, fruit, handbags, pillow cases, bowls, lights, budda statues, jeans, clothes, and little jingly things that hang off phones.
We bargained and purchased lots of goodies including fake watches, strings of bright lights, candle holders, handbags, shirts, pillow cases and much more. Thirsty after all our hard work, we hit a food stand for an ice-cold hacked open coconut. BIG MISTAKE. Heads up: coconuts from anywhere in the world do not taste like Australian coconuts. Rather than tasting like the coconuts I used to crack open as a child with a hammer in the backyard, it tasted very unsavoury.
There were bunches of the biggest, juiciest purple grapes I've ever seen, spiced mango slices in plastic bags and some sort of salted lychee creation. It was a hot, humid day and the condensation was dripping from the fruit. I was dying to try some, but remember my Mum's advice - when in Asia, never eat any fruit you can't peel. So, I opted for the bloody coconut didn't I? Moral of the story...... Mum's are always right when it comes to men, but not with Asian coconuts.
Here's another tip: when in Thailand, never ask for the price of something if you don't want to buy it. This includes if you're just curious about the going rate. No-one ever shared this pearler with me and I wish some travel savvy person had. I politely inquired about the price of a gorgeous green leather Marc Jacobs bag and was gobsmacked by the outrageous price being asked for a fake bag. When I went to leave, she asked how much I'd pay. I was sourcing such a bag for a close friend of mine, and was just curious about what styles there were and how much they were going for. I threw a price at her, and she said no. I said ok, went to leave and was set upon, where she agreed to my original price which was more than half of hers. I said i didn't want it and she put her cranky pants on! I made up a story about having no cash and said I'd come back. When I tried to skulk past later she remembered and called out.
Talk about sheepish....
This poodle lover can never get enough shopping - stay tuned for my return to Bangkok!