I woke up in the morning, curled up in a ball on my bed.

I looked to my right, Katie and Isabelle were just waking up, too.

My head.

I sought to put together the pieces from the previous night.

Whiskey and Coke bucket. Chang Beer. Which, apparently, is super strong. Dancing at the reggae bar. A 20-year-old drunk dude propositioning me, then telling me I lost my chance when I rolled my eyes at his scrawny, backward baseball cap, shorts well under his ass, ridiculousness. Thai children selling flowers. Getting paid to kick guys in their crotch. Walking over to another bar playing lots of popular music from 2006. Meat-on-a-stick. Faceplanting it into my bed.

“Where are my shoes?” Katie asked, sitting up.

Yeah. It was that kind of jet lagged, whiskey bucket-drinking night.

The three of us groaned and decided a proper Western breakfast full of grease was in order. But first, we needed a fruit shake.

Across the street from Little Bird was a market, so we all went over there and ordered delicious sweet fruit shakes. Katie ordered a super refreshing pineapple and lime; I opted for pineapple and dragonfruit.

The market

We sat at breakfast, trying to get over our hangovers with not so much luck. I had some prescription painkillers I had brought for just such an occasion, so Katie and I each popped one, feeling better within minutes.

Still beat from the night before, we returned to the hostel for an afternoon of lounging mixed with napping.

After a couple of hours of doing nothing but recovering, I decided it was time to take advantage of the cheap price for a massage, so Isabelle and I headed out — she to meet a friend, and me to indulge in the second massage in 24 hours — one for my head to help ease the headache I felt creeping back.

The two of us walked down the moat towards Taipei Gate, walking through the set-up of the Sunday market.

Colorful clothing. Adorable moleskin journals. Food. Avert your eyes, D. AVERT.

I trained my eyes on the cement.

“Isabelle, we can’t walk through here right now. If we’re doing this tonight, I can’t be tempted to shop right now,” I explained.

We changed our path and ended up walking right by Elephant Nature Park’s local office.

“Can we stop in here real quick?” I asked her. I wanted to make sure I was all set for the morning.

As soon as I walked in, five dogs ran up to us. One with three legs. Rescued animals living in comfort at the beautiful park office.

A clear indication of what I was up for at the park. 

I met with a representative, signed some papers, paid my balance, set up my pick-up for the morning, then we were off.

Isabelle and I found a nice massage place down the road from the office and it’s where I decided to stop to get  a head massage. She headed off to meet a friend and I changed into comfortable pants and laid down to fight the hangover that surely was only antagonized by the jet lag I was sure was still pulsing in me.

For an hour, I succumbed to my masseuse, letting her ply my body and put pressure on my head.

“You okayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?” She would ask from time to time.

My response would always be a content smile.

A wat against the thunder clouds

When it was done, I sat with my masseuse, drank some tea, then grabbed Isabelle so we could go walk back, weaving through side streets and Wats, to meet Katie at Little Bird and head over to the Sunday Night Market.

6 comments

    1. Yeah, me neither!!! Massages. Good food. Cheap everything. And, beautiful scenery!! Thanks, I liked that pic, too. The sky was overcast nearly the entire trip, but I actually ended up liking the contrast of the bright colors against the gray.

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  1. lol – I usually have a “gatorade” breakfast to rehydrate.. but I guess when you’re travelling you don’t have the luxury of grabbing a bottle at a convenience store down the street. Thanks for the story!

    So envious of your travels… 🙂

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    1. In Chiang Mai, there are 7-11s at nearly every corner. Plus, there’s this little packet of stuff you can put into water my friend swears by. I forget what it is called … but it’s supposed to hydrate you. I try not to get hungover these days … at my age they seem to last for days!!

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