Since it’s the weekend I am allowed to do touristy things, and I don’t have to get up at 6:30 am and take a bus for an hour to Dong-Dok, I went to get a traditional Lao massage this afternoon.
It was a pretty interesting experience. I decided to go with the “Traditional Lao Herbal Massage”, at the “White Lotus Spa”, in which they steam some kinds of herbs wrapped in a towel, and then apply them to your body. They also do some kind of Lao massage, which I think is simmilar to Thai massage, but I’ve never had that done so I don’t actually know. Basically, this girl who weighs like 90 lbs jumps up and down on your back, jabs you with her thumbs, and yanks on your arms and legs, while you wear pajamas. She also does some kind of accupressure-type thing, involving certain pressure points in the inner-thigh and pelvis area… which probably would have been a little awkward if one of us were a man. But in the process I am pretty sure she aligned my chi and balanced my chakras, so I feel great right now.
I also went to the swimming pool yesterday. Let me rephrase that, the most fucking disgusting swimming pool I have ever been in, yesterday.
My first sign that it was less than hygeinic probably should have been the overwhelming stench of urine in the changing rooms. But I had already paid my 75 cents (6,000 kip), and I was sweaty from the bike ride and just wanted to be the pool. Once I got in, I realized, through the murky water, that the bottom of the pool was covered in brown sludge in many places, and there was no filtration system to speak of. In fact, the areas around the pool where the water should have been going through to be filtered, were actually just filled with some water, moss, and mosquito larvae. It was like icing on the disgusting cake when I noticed that of the 10-or-so kids in the pool, none of which had bathing suits on (don’t worry, they weren’t naked, they had on t-shirts), at least 2 of them were sitting in inner tubes, eating DORITOS or CHEETOS or some other snack food out of bags, and then washing their grubby fingers in the pool. I actually laughed out load when I was suddenly reminded of a kid Sonya had told me about how would yell “Pizza Pool!” before swimming lessons when they discussed the pool rules and how “No eating in the pool” was one of them.
Anyway, even if I didn’t get pink-eye or an ear infection, I definiely won’t be going back to the Sokpaluang Pool again.