Photo Adventure Of The Day – Facebook Embed Test!

Ladies and gentlemen wow! I learned a new skill today, how to embed FaceBook posts into my WordPress photo adventures blog. I’m just so excited to now be able to share with you more of my kooky stories and photos. WordPress is really just such a pain, this way is so much easier. Click on any of pictures on the FaceBook embed to see a larger version. Most of them have a caption or description, I hope you find them interesting.

Afterwards, please come back and read the trashy bonus story below? Thanks so much, krup Khun krup.

To thank you for taking the extra effort to visit my blog, here’s a few bonus tidbits about today’s photo adventures.

December 4, 2012; mostly in the late dinner portion of the evening.

I needed some ibuprofen and had googled a pharmacy with a good rep that didn’t overcharge farangs. No name, just “the one next to the Kiss Market” in Rompho Plaza, a big, sleazy girlie beer bar complex popular with the Australian tourists.

I knew exactly where it was, (not what you’re probably thinking right now) because a dear expat pal took me to the Curry Hut, one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve ever tried. It’s tucked between two of those bars on the right hand side long warehouse portion of the plaza.

The pharmacy is tucked in between the Kiss Market and a long row of beauty salons in the left hand side long warehouse portion. $4 for a month’s supply. I couldn’t tell you if that’s a good deal or not it seemed reasonable and I bought it.

I also needed a haircut, and my higher power, Google, told me the best deal was to be found right there in sleazy Rompho Plaza. There were about a dozen places to choose from. Most had a published price of 130 to 150 baht for man haircut. All of them were actually women’s beauty salons, staffed by women who could just as easily worked the beer bars.

Google said there were several actual old style barber shops staffed by old men who charged only 70 baht for haircut and shave. That’s about $2.50 $3 at the most. Well, even higher powers can be wrong, I could not find the old man barbershop.

Hmmmmmm, well, 150 baht is just $5, not such a big deal, but the idea of sitting in a cathouse full of idle women talking about me in Thai and/or trying to marry me? I just wasn’t feeling it.

The last shop on the row was open air facing away from all the others, with a half dozen girls sitting just outside on a picnic table. When I got within full view of the shop, guess what? There was a hot, 30 something (that means 45 in Thai years) man barber shaving the angel face of another Thai twenty something (30). My luck has changed!

Well — not so fast. Just as soon as I approached, the loud, screeching and cackling bar girls hairdressers at the pic nic table pounced on me like hookers snagging a John.

“Can I wait for him?”

“Yes can do sit sit” Grabbing me by the arms and dragging me to an empty chair.

“How many baht?”

“Yes can do sit sit!”

“All I want is a clip clip zero guard all over” Motioning my nearly bald head and thickly shadowed face.

“Yes yes can do sit sit!” Pushing me into the chair.

I’m looking at the handsome barber and he motions me to sit sit.

So then, the scraggliest hooker hairdresser, skinny as a rail, bad teeth, iodine hair with plenty of dark root, pulls out the clippers and starts on my head. Dammit! I’m bamboozled again. The girls are hooting and hollering with each other, probably about me.

She does a pretty decent job on top. I mean, how hard can a zero guard all the way down haircut be, right? Halfway through, she says it’s 150. I try to bargain her down, but she’s not budging, and her posse is helping her out by drowning me out with loud belly laughs and gossip. What evah.

Then she pulls out the straight razor. It’s the last thing I want at this point. “Oh! Just zero guard all over please?” She gives me a strange look, and then laughs. They laugh.

“Ok can do.” She proceeds to do a lousy job on my face, and then cuts my neck with the clippers! Blood trickling down onto my Tommy Hilfiger shirt (that had already been washed in hot water with my black jeans in Cambodia, no phrobulum).

“Oh! Solly solly meesta.” The hens are whispering and discreetly pointing. She dabs the wound with some anti-septic (little ouchie) on a cotton bud. They don’t call them swabs, they’re buds. I like it.

Out comes the razor again. “I fix faw yoo this much betteure.” Jesus Buddha Christ! I hoped the alms I’d given to that gorgeous monk in the morning would be enough merit to protect me from further harm. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, cast my fate in Buddha’s hands and let her finish.

She was pretty good with the razor, much better than with the clippers. But she only touched up the edges around the back and the ears. Left the half job on my face and neck alone, thank God. It was all pretty quick, and when it was over I could not have leapt out of that chair any faster.

I paid her the 150 with exact change, experience has taught me well. “Oh you no tip faw me?” she’s trying to work me with the sad puppy dog eyes.

“Solly hunnee cannot, almost cut my head off” giggle giggle frown frown. I cut off that line pretty quick by taking her aside, and whispering in her ear:

“That your boyfriend?” motioning towards the hot barber guy.

“Noooo, not boyfriend.” Says it loudly for all to hear. The girls are craning their necks with their cat ears perked in our direction.

“That your brother?” I say a bit louder. The posse is whispering almost as loud as I’m talking.

“Nooooo not brother!” She’s forgotten about the non-tip.

“He have darling already?” I motion again to the barber, who’s half smirking half frowning. He knows what’s coming next.

“Ohhhhhhhh! You like man! You want him?” I’m nodding enthusiastically. He’s blushing. The guy in the chair is now laughing.

“Well he is pretty handsome. How many baht?” The din of the peanut gallery starts to rise.

“Ok, can do! Yes can do too, I go with yoo, two for one!” She throws her arms around me.

“Ok how much you pay me? I cheap cheap!” I’m sticking my hand out to her, palm up, fingers waving, other hand on hip. I’m channeling my best hooker on the corner pose. The place erupts, nearly blowing the roof off the chicken coop.

I bend over, and give her a nice kiss on her neck, and exit stage left, blood stain dried and head still attached. I can still hear them hollering halfway down the road, which is where most of these pictures were taken.

Moral of the story: unless you have a rock solid recommend from someone who goes regularly, do not, DO NOT! Go to those beauty salons that claim to also cut men’s hair. I had a similar experience at a salon in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I’ll tell you all about the bloody hack job a pedicurist gave my toes. Another time. Stay tuned.

Slice Years Off Your Age!

Short Work

Today an elderly Thai man made short work of my face with a straight razor. Don’t worry, its not as bad as it sounds. I say elderly, because he looked about 40, which for a Thai means about 60. I was killing time between appointments at Pattaya International Hospital, a four hour wait between a battery of tests and an eye exam. All part of a “men’s fifty and up tourist annual checkup package”.

British Barfly

I decided to get a haircut and shave at a barber that was recommended by one of the drunk Brit barflies back at the DD Inn. Although his manners were far from it, his grooming was impeccable.  He couldn’t remember the name, but gave excellent directions:  Find the Mongkol Buddhist Temple in Pattaya. Everyone knows where that is, including google maps.

11-17-13 Jomtien Ran in my room 038

The Scenic Route

Turns out, his directions were a bit round-a-bout, but the direct route is annoyingly crowded with heavy foot and vehicle traffic. Instead, walk south on 2nd road a block, past the school yard. Turn left on soy 17, the Sikh Temple is a few hundred feet on the right (see funny side note about this from Teakdoor.com).

Continue eastward past the temple, the smelly fish market, and several blocks of dirty, crowded, shops, and Viagra pharmacies, until you come to Pattaya Tai 13 (alley no. 13). You know your there when you see these two incense sellers who’ve lost their heads.

Turn left onto allley 13, now heading north. On the left, a few doors in, there are two barbershops. It’s the first one. Ask for chair number one.

English Not Spoken Here

The name of the place is Hollywood Barber. How original. I walk in and no one speaks english, and they are ushering me into a chair towards the back, where it’s a lady barber’s turn. I politely assert that I wanted chair number one, “goot flen lecommen”. An elderly gent turns beet red, not easy for a dark skinned Thai, but seems grateful and flattered. Everyone breaks out hooting and hollering, about what I know not.

Through language difficulty, embarrassment, gesturing, and sheer perseverance, I managed to indicate I wanted a complete haircut and shave. As I said, the cut and shave was so fast I barely noticed it had even started. He could have been a surgeon in another life. It’s the guy seated on the left:

But You’re Treated Like A Queen

For the next hour and a half, I was pampered like a king, or, umm, queen! Hairline shape up, nose hair trim, ear hair trim. Facial massages with 6 or 7 various creams, gels, lotions, astringents. I fell asleep several times it was so relaxing.

A Secret To Looking Young

A layer of some type of rubber cement was applied. While drying, he gave a top notch head, neck, shoulder, arm, and hand massage. When the epoxy was lifted, so was about 15 years of age! Now you know one of the many Thai secrets of looking young. All of this for 560 Thai baht, or just under $21 US, including tip.

More of Jimbo’z Fairy Tales From Afar

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Funny Bit From TeakDoor

A quick Google search yielded this funny tidbit from “Dirty Dog” on the popular TeakDoor.com’s forums:

“This Gurudwara Sahip Sikh Temple is down Soi 17 in South Pattaya about 400 meters from Walking Street, Now obviously Walking Street has loads of Tailor shops so this is where they go to make merit for their sins, and they do make merit, Soi 17 is the one that runs behind the South Pattaya market and is filled with run down crappy old shophouses that haven’t seen a coat of paint in 15 years, but the Sikh Temple does tend to stand out a bit amongst these run down buildings, so obviously they are raking in the dosh from the sinful Tailors, they must be doing some really nasty stuff to hand over this sort of dosh.

Next door to the Temple is Ravi Indian Supermarket, this is the place to get all that hard to get Indian spices and stuff in Pattaya.

The only trouble with this Soi is that it is way too narrow, if 2 cars park on opposite sides of the road then no cars can get through, and obviously this being Thailand this happens quite often.”

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Khrap khun khrap,

Jimmeee

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