So, about 10 years ago, my life was at a crossroads.  I was 29 and had wasted the previous decade trying to be a grown up.  It was time to burst out of my safe little bubble and experience life, so I went to Thailand on my own.

 While this may not seem too wild for many of you, it was a pretty big deal for me.  I was the type of girl who didn’t want to leave my family home while my dog was still alive and in residence.  Change, and any kind of distance from my family, scared the crap out of me.  Shit sure did need a-changing back then though, and so I ripped that band-aid off and got on a plane, without a mobile phone, email address or known bank balance.  I just pretty much winged it all the way to Bangkok and beyond.

My itinerary was as follows – arrive at (the old) Bangkok airport and piss my pants at the sight of many scary dudes with machine guns.  Get completely lost and disorientated and nearly miss my hotel transfer.  Spend $120 on a phone call back home to some random guy I’d just met and kinda liked (we shall call him ‘Husbo’).  Piss my pants again at having to eat breakfast 84 stories up in the freaking sky.  Relocate from my swanky hotel to the divey little shithole where I was meeting and staying with my tour group.  Meet tour group.

I think there were about 10 of us from memory, meeting up in Bangkok for a few days, then catching the overnight train to Chiang Mai, where we would begin a trekking adventure through the mountains, staying with the local hill tribes.  There were a couple of groups of friends – some (very) German boys, a few English lads, and an annoying trio of Aussie girls.  Myself and one other lone traveler were paired up and it was with bloody good fortune that she was super cool and funny.  Cerie had also been to Thailand before, so she showed me the ropes – like how to call my fretting Mum on a payphone, the miracle of Thai whiskey and Red Bull, and how some ladies can throw darts at balloons without using their hands.  We quickly bonded over a few similarities – at 29 and 27, we were by far the oldest in the group, and we were both smitten with men/boys back home, who were much younger.  This provided comical fodder when we were given the smallest elephant possible to ride on our trek, suggesting we get t-shirts printed with ‘I rode another young one in Chiang Mai’.  Believe me, it was hilarious at the time.

It was with Cerie that I shared my unforgettable Thai beauty experience, but before I get to that, you need to get a feel for the lead up to our special time together.

The itinerary continued as such – Piss on my leg (and fisherman’s pants and feet)  whilst trying to wee on a squat toilet on a moving train in the middle of the night.  Sleep in said pissy state on said train.  Continue squatting over holes to relieve myself for the next five days.  Sleep on bamboo mats and bathe in rivers and streams.  Hike for hours each day up and down hills and mountains to reach our next destination.  Be constantly questioned about our level of enjoyment due to private jokes, cynical remarks and lack of expressing how this was the most life changing experience ever.  Sail down a crazy, brown, often rapid river on a bamboo raft, trying hard not to lose all our belongings or ourselves in it.  Be joyfully amused at the annoying Australian girls whose raft went arse over and tipped them all in the muddy river.  Laugh especially hard at the most annoying one who was standing up and boastfully eating a packet of Oreos at the time.  Throw out completely destroyed sneakers at completion of the raft ride.  Greet hot hotel shower with open arms and vow to give it my first born.

Don’t get me wrong, it was an incredible experience and I’m so pleased I did it, I just didn’t feel the need to wank on about it like the rest of the group, and by the end of it, all I wanted was a little indulgent pampering.  Cerie was on board with that idea too, so we took a brochure from the hotel lobby and checked out our options.  They had a list of spa packages and the one that took our fancy was called ‘The Romantic’.  Assuming it was just a name, we booked in for our much anticipated and deserving treatment.  Armed with our bikinis, my friend of one week and I, set off for a few hours of relaxation.  On arrival, we were informed that our bikinis would not be required, and were given a sarong to wear instead.  We were to go starkers underneath it apparently, with not even a disposable g-string on offer to hide our shame.

As we exchanged raised eyebrows, I was escorted away from Cerie and into the steam room.  Comfortable with the realisation that it wasn’t communal, rather a small individual cubical with a bench to sit on to soak up the detoxifying heat, I relaxed completely and disrobed.  I opened up my sarong and sat there spread eagle, while my naked body sweated up a storm.  With my eyes closed and boobs out, all the hard work of the previous five days melted away…until OUT OF F*CKING NOWHERE! the door swung open and in came Cerie.  It almost felt like she was pushed into the tiny cubicle, like you would push one of your girlfriends into a boy she liked at a Blue Light Disco.   Relaxation turned to extreme adrenalin rush as I wrapped the sarong around me at lightening speed.  “What the f*ck?!”.  It was at that moment we realised that they really had meant ‘romantic’ in every sense of the word, and Cerie and I were in for a very special and awkward afternoon together.

I am not the type of girl who gets nude in front of her friends.  I am very private about my bits, and I had only just met Cerie, so this was all a bit confronting.  She wasn’t a bare it all kind of gal either, so the next treat on the menu proved difficult for us.  After we had laughed off the initial shock of my accidental flashing, we were moved into the spa.  We figured it would be OK as we’d be covered by the bubbles.  There were no bubbles.  It was just a big lovely bath, with crystal clear water and a few scattered flowers floating serenely about.  Oh shit.  We took turns at looking away while the other got into the spa, and once we were in, it was a case of strategically placing the flowers over our boobs and lady parts, lest we sit there with our eyes closed.  It kind of worked, and we sat there, not relaxing, but giggling nervously as we tried to keep our blooms in position.  Relieved to be notified that our time in the bath together had come to an end, we attempted to get out with our dignity intact.  As the orchids dispersed and left me to me my own naked devices, I said, “Oh, f*ck it, I’m just getting out”.  Cerie did the same and with tits and fannies out, we scrambled for our towels and made our way to the next treatment.

Our mood at this time was jovial, bordering on hysterical.  We could absolutely see the funny side of our predicament, and resigned ourselves to the fact that although this was not the most relaxing of spa experiences, it was definitely the most comical.  Simultaneous facials and massages were next.  Surely this part would be g-rated?  Nope, ‘fraid not.  We were in a shared treatment room on separate beds – that was a good start – and we each had a therapist taking care of us.  I can’t remember too much about the facial as the massage preoccupied my mind.  “What’s she gonna touch next?”  played over and over as I tensed up instead of letting go and relaxing.  This was the first time I had ever had my boobs massaged (that I’d paid for).  Now, I’m not a prude, and the gentle touch of a woman’s hand on my body doesn’t disgust me, but this chick was really giving them a more than thorough going over.  I was just thankful that I didn’t have a penis at this stage, or I might have pitched a very awkward and unwelcome tent with my towel.  I could see in my periphery that Cerie’s therapist was giving her the same treatment about 20 seconds after me, and tried so hard to hold back my giggles.

As she moved her way down my body, I tensed up even more.  I get very ticklish when my legs are massaged, and although I really needed it after days of hiking, I just couldn’t allow myself to give in to the therapeutic bliss.  It was all about the deep breaths and sending my mind elsewhere, lest I snort with laughter and ruin it for everybody.  My calves are the worst, so I was a little more relieved when she moved up to my thighs.  Her pressure was nice and strong as she worked my outer leg, so it wasn’t too bad.   As I started to enjoy it more, my breathing calmed down and the tension subsided…briefly.  I didn’t get a chance to react to the tickle I felt as she moved to the inner thigh, because uh oh, her fingers had taken a slip up between my legs and, holy moly, I was getting a sneaky feel up.  I was mentally reaching for pants, when she did it again.  Every essence of my being held back a squeal and a snort, and every muscle, including my pelvic floor tensed up tighter and tighter.  Fortunately she moved onto the other leg before I had a chance to cross them.  Sure enough she did it again and I wondered if Cerie was getting the same overly enthusiastic treatment.  I was about to find out.

The only part of the facial I can recall, was the mask the therapists had applied and left on our faces, as they too left the room.  As soon as they were out of earshot (or not), it was clear that Cerie had experienced the slip of the hand, as we almost convulsed with uncontrollable laughter.  Our bodies shook, our eyes watered, and our audible cackles turned to that type of laughter where you’re not making a sound and there’s not a thing you can do about it.  We were both just lying there, shaking and crying, not having to say a word because we just knew that our ‘romantic’ afternoon had reached it’s ultimate climax.  I can’t even remember how it all ended, but I know that I tipped my lady handsomely.

My time in Thailand ended with a few relaxing days in Koh Samui, where I treated myself to more massages and facials.  They didn’t quite go the same way as my romantic spa experience, because I was clothed, and out in the open.  I fared better than my new friend Cerie, though, who spent the the rest of her holiday freaking out about her facial hair, which had just been shaved off by a beauty therapist with a disposable razor.  Fortunately her theories of hair growth were debunked and she did not end up with a lady beard.

Very grainy photo of me in Chiang Mai taken by Cerie with my 4 mega pixel camera.