Friday, July 8, 2016

Day 3, cont'd AGAIN (June 2) #TheAsianAdventure

For me, those first hours in Ho Chi Minh? What I noticed the most?

So many little red and blue plastic kiddie seats/step stools.
Inside and outside the market.

Sorry about the blurry pics.
I didn't want to be obvious. So these were walk-by photos, taken stealthily, from a dangling camera.


After Sue had finished making her market purchases, we went back outside.

An uh, yeah. This was the other thing that was in abundance.

Ho Chi Minh has 12 million residents.
And 7 million scooters.

I am not making that up. A tour guide told me. I believe him.

So, years ago, the roads were probably wide enough for the cars. Add 7 million scooters to the mix and chaos reigns.

But in addition to adding all those moving scooters, they also need a place to park when they reached their destination.

There is no room to park on the road. So they use the sidewalks.


SO ANYWAY, we left the market...

And accepted the invitation to be peddled back to our hotel.

No more commentary. This was my view for about 20 minutes:

Right into oncoming traffic.

Without turning around in my seat, I lifted my camera up, pointed it backwards and took 3 pics, unsure if they'd be in focus, or if I'd even capture my peddler.

I did.

And then we were dropped off at our hotel.

We went directly up to the roof:

We had our beverages, ordered some fries, made reservations for our evening activities, then Sue met Minh and they went to their first meeting. I changed into my bathing suit and went back upstairs to tan.

But all the deck chairs were taken.

There was no place to sit.

So I looked over the balcony and took some pics:

Then went back to the room to shower/remove a layer of sweat/get ready for evening/read/wonder what time my body thought it was/go on Facebook to see what was happening in my real world.

We were going to be walking for abit, so we both picked appropriate footwear:

Outdoor Vietnamese BarBQ!


Oh. And this is Minh, by the way...

Minh. Who I got to know very well about 20 minutes after this meal was finished.

We hopped in a cab to get us back to the hotel in time for my birthday treat from Sue... A Hot Stone Massage. She booked them for us, indicating our need for private rooms. Which she emphasized often. Repeatedly. Until we were sure she was being fully understood.

We were ushered into a small locker room and asked to undress.
We each took turns using the closet to get out of our clothes and into the cotton boxers and robe supplied. Sue went first, and was whisked away. Then Minh changed.

I had horrible feelings about this whole process.
One size does not fit all when you're a plus size.

Nothing says 'you don't belong here' or 'OMG you're THAT fat' when the universal sized boxers are skin tight and the robe doesn't close in the front by about 10 inches. I looked at myself in the mirror and wanted to go home. I don't belong in this tiny country with their petite sizings. Fighting tears, and praying for the rapture to take me to heaven, I left the robe behind, and holding my boobs in my hands, I took tiny steps out of the closet to find my massage therapist impatiently waiting for me.

I pointed to my bottoms and said, "too small". She nodded and shrugged. And indicated I was to follow her.

She brought me into a room, where a mostly naked Minh was standing by a sink in her cute little boxers. I backed out and waved, "Private. Private massage."

She nodded and pointed to the bed right next to the one Minh was getting on.

I tried again, "Private room. No share."

She ran her hands over the bed. "Yes, here."

My boxers were so tight, it was difficult to swing my legs up on to the table. I was to lie face down, and unlike this video my experience did not include being covered with sheets. She tried to pull the boxers down, with limited success, to gain more access to the top of my butt. And she tried pulling the leg openings upwards to expose more cheek. A fair bit of grunting and displeasure was expressed as she worked those tight bottoms.

Tears formed. Then dripped.

Maybe it was the result of a very long day. Maybe it was because I'm hormonal. Maybe it was because other than my doctor, no one has touched me in 20 years and this was all kinds of humiliating. Maybe it was because Minh was lying on a bed 12 inches away from me. Maybe it was because I am a moron.

But I never did relax. At no point did my muscles unwind. Any toxins that were to be released as a result of this treatment never left my body. I kept everything bunched up and well tucked inside.

When it was over, we met Sue in the reception area.

"WASN'T THAT AMAZING! So relaxing. So warm. So perfect. Didn't you love it?" She enthused all over the place.

"Uh. Yeah. It was nice. Thanks for making the arrangements."

"What? What happened?"

"Well, Minh and I are very well acquainted now." I explained the misunderstanding re: the term 'private'. Which she thought was hilarious. And mentioned she could hardly wait to read the blog post about the whole thing. (Five weeks later, here it is.) (I will never ever wear tight boxers in my life ever again as long as I live nor in heaven.)

Sue slept like a baby that night.
I took another sleeping pill.

1 comment:

September said...

Bummer about the massages. Of course that was uncomfortable for you. I would have cried too. I wanted to cry reading it.

The scooter photos were crazy. How on earth do you get your scooter back when it's all enclosed? Do you just take someone else's?? How bizarre I wonder what they think when they visit or move to North America and we're all so neurotic about personal space. I got a pedicure yesterday and the Vietnamese man who did it was telling me about how differently they raise their children. We were discussing attachment theory and the rise of loneliness, living alone, the lack of attunement to others, how addiction fits in to was fascinating. North Americans have some strange ideas about how to do life compared to the rest of the world.

Food photos make me hungry!
I mostly can't get over how much stuff is crammed into the markets. It's exhausting to look at, all of it trying to catch your eye. Such a different life on the other side of the planet.

I'm sure enjoying your posts though. You were SO BRAVE to go!