May 25, 2004

A short stay in Sukothai

Based on a strong recommendation from our travel friend Kathleen (see Ko Lanta blog entry), Jim and I made a stop in the former capital city of Sukothai on our way back to Bangkok. We had one specific purpose there - to get a 'life altering' "Balance Massage" from Samart Hrimtephathip.

After hearing how Samart cured Kathleen of her ankle problems, I was hoping he could work a similar magic on Jim's back. Since I am issue-free (note sarcasm) and I consider Thai massages to be a masochist form of torture, I was more than a bit hesitant to undergo a treatment myself.

Within hours of our arrival, Samart visited us at our bungalow for the first of two sessions. Jim proved to be a challenging client and worked Samart for over 2 hours on the first day, and over 3 the next. But Jim will say that he has noticed a difference.

I like to describe my two sessions as "intense and intimate." If I had not been adequately warned or not been confident in Samart's credentials, I would have wussed out in the first 10 minutes.

But Sukothai proved to be more than just a place to get our bodies I mean...treated. Samart also treated us to a short meditation course (after my second course of 'treatment' he said I need to keep up with yoga or meditating since I was suspectible to stress - wh-wh-what!?!??!).

Additionally, we visited 3 elementary schools - one a monastary - where we practiced English with the students:

Hello, my name is Janet. What is your name?
It is nice to meet you. It is nice to meet you too.

Proof they let us be in charge!

Us with some of the students and the principal (she insisted on paying for our lunch that day).

But the highlight of the school tours, by far, was Jim breaking out his iPod with speakers and spearheading a dance contest to Outkast's "Hey Ya." The children of Sukothai may never be the same!

Did I mention that had us signing autographs??!
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