The Golfing Session
The Sunday was scheduled for Golfing. While I was uninitiated to the apparently lazy sport of Golf at that point of time, my natural inclination to anything sporting made me accompany my friends to Subhapreuk Golf Club. My role was to be that of just an observer (hence, no expenses expected on my part!). In case my hands got itchy out of curious inactivity, I was expected to try my hand at the driving range, trying to put the small golf balls in the orbit, expecting that they meet the satellites, natural as well as man-made! As we reached the destination, the huge expanse of the manicured land with some water bodies, sand troughs, and plenty of trees spattered across took my breath away! It was beautiful as well as intimidating! The intimidation made its way because of the knowledge that the whole expanse was supposed to be covered while walking! Hence, my notion of Golf being a lazy sport was very fast getting diluted!
After taking some long walks in the greens, my hands were indeed getting itchy! Was getting confident by the minute that I would do a lot better that all others around me! But, my friends were not ready to hand over the clubs to me to justify my confidence! Hence I took the next best option of heading towards the driving range. Hired a 3 iron and a driver along with a bucket of balls. The driver looked quite enticing with its majestic hump, and I decided to have a go with that. As I was all set to give it a go, one of the caddies there walked up to me and asked, if I have ever played Golf. I assessed the situation and the expression on the caddie’s face and decided to be truthful. He advised, not using the driver to start with, and asked me to use the 3-iron. As a mark of respect, (and tinge of fear of getting thrown out of the place), I abided by his suggestion and got poised to take a go at the ball. He interrupted again, and advised that my left hand should not bend at the elbow! With those lessons absorbed, I had a vicious go at the tiny ball! The club made a full arc and hit me on my own backside without hitting the ball! This spectacle resulted in smirks all around, which was quite infuriating! The ball was still sitting where it was placed! I looked at the ball with all the vengeance I could conjure up, making sure I don’t hit thin air. This time I managed to hit the thick earth near the ball! A chunk of the turf flew and made more distance than the ball and my hand had a jarring effect at the wrist, and elbow. The ball rolled for a couple of meters, and settled down, apparently winking at me! The apparent wink confused me further on whether I should be furious or ashamed! The Cabbie saved me from the dilemma and painstakingly explained the basics of golfing and showed to me how the hitting is done. After spreading around 50 odd balls all across the range (within 30 odd meters), I finally heard a sonorous twang with a nice feel to my arms! It was similar to what one feels when, in Cricket, a lofted shot is timed well and the ball sails over the boundary with little effort! While it did not settle with the satellites, it did soar high and landed about 200 meters away. Looked around at the faces of the onlookers, who were having a gala time at the expense of my ignominy. Some averted their eyes while others gave me encouraging smiles! The caddie walked over flashing a blazing smile, and my day was made!
On our way back, while my friends were talking about their performance of the day (one of them had scored 5 over par, and seemed quite happy about it!), I was basking in the glory of that one shot, and wincing in pain. My hands and shoulders were protesting the sudden torture that they have been subjected to while my palms were red with some boils making their glorious appearance. When we reached, even a small walk to my room was proving to be quite strenuous. My friends suggested a body massage, assuring me that it has amazing effects, and would let me get rid of all the pain! They further assured me that since the Massage Parlour was in-premise, there was no need to worry of getting fleeced! All three of us booked 1 hour sessions, and at the designated time, I stepped in with loads of trepidation.
My sense of unease was not helped, when a young lady walked in and gave a skimpy dress, which, if wore, was just be enough for me, to not be called nude! I was expected to strip down, and she pointed to the adjoining wash room to get dressed (rather undressed!). In the wash room, I found a bath-robe, which I decided to use while making my way back into the massage room and lied down on the massage table. The masseuse unceremoniously yanked away the bath-robe and straightened my body. She put towels on parts of the body which were not under her attention at that point of time and asked my permission to get her act going. She pointed at the watch and got started.
As the session wore on, I started gaining confidence on humankind, as earlier assurances given by my friends turned out to be true. The pains were on their way out, and the body, as a whole, was feeling much more rejuvenated. So much was the comfort that I dozed off! I was pleasantly brought back to senses, when I was asked to turn around and lie on my belly. The ritual continued, and so did my dozing off, again. At the buzz of the hour, the masseuse stepped back and politely asked if I needed any further services, which, I equally politely, declined and tipped her off. Thus, I came out of my inaugural “Bangkok Massage session” with flying colours, in contrary to the general consensus of unpleasant advances (pleasant to some) and feel of loss (gain to some)! While I waited for my friends to come out of their respective cabins, I was wondering what was taking so long for them, as all of us had booked for 1 hour session! When they came out, their faces registered a triumphant look rather than that of being relaxed! On our way out, I asked them, what took them so long. With a quizzical look, they asked me back, “Did you not go for Extra / further services”! On my flabbergasted look, they had another hearty laugh and advised me to definitely go for that extra next time onwards!
The week that followed was quite hectic, that did not leave me with any time to roam around or entertain myself. Had only the following Saturday at my disposal, before I was scheduled to fly out on Sunday. After some research and solicitation, I home in on a Boat ride on Chao Phrya.