Today I have mostly been…

…sat in dark rooms watching films. And being smeared in oil and massaged by a small Thai woman. Well, it had to happen eventually. You can’t go to Bangkok and not get a massage!

I wasn’t brave enough to go for a traditional Thai massage. Apparently they’re somewhat like an assault from a burly 7-foot chiropractor. I was more in the mood for letting my head cold dribble out through my nose while I was rubbed down and chilled for a while.

It worked. My cold’s a fair bit better, though I was hoping for a bit more of a hard massage. I’ve been warned not to ask them to be too hard, though, as they have incredibly strong hands and can really apply pressure when they want!

A word of warning (thanks, Tim) – always aim for somewhere advertising “traditional” massage. You’re much less likely to be asked if you want “happy finish”. No more details on this family-friendly forum *ahem*.

The films I caught were Ultraviolet which was very comic-booky. I don’t know if it’s based on a comic or not, though the opening titles give the impression it is. It’s somewhat like V For Vendetta meets Blade with tons of silly special effects of varying quality. The helicopters in one of the opening scenes look like they were made for TRON.

Second up was Pink Panther and, in fairness, it wasn’t bad. Mainly spoiled by the kid behind me kicking my chair, climbing up my chair, pushing my chair forward for minutes at a time with his feet and yattering at his dad for ages every time someone got hurt in the film.

Steve Martin makes a half-decent Clouseau, though some things have changed from the classic films. The main one is the sad omission of Cato. Instead, Jean Reno plays a “straight fiddle” to Martin and Clouseau attacks him randomly. Either way, the early originals are definitely better but as a modern remake it’s not too bad.

My Chaing Mai problems seem to be sorted (touch wood). After AsiaRooms.com got back to me again to tell me that the room I was under the impression was booked last night wasn’t available, but as an alternative they had… the same hotel. I contacted them and it was a posher room at twice the price so I told them to shove it.

Next stop was hostelbookers.com which had rooms in 3 hostels available for the period I wanted and all nice places. Only their web site seems to be broken. When you click on “BOOK NOW” it loops back to the page asking you where you want to stay. Argh. An email to them got me a response saying they couldn’t find any accomodation for me for that time period.

So on to HostelWorld where I found a very nice B&B for a tenner a night with free wireless internet in all the rooms, about 10 mins walk from the night bazaar. OK, so it’s not the hotel with a pool that I really wanted, but I may head beachwards the following week so I can live with that. This booking has also been confirmed and guaranteed so I know I have somewhere to stay!

Unfortunately, I have to end today’s post on a very, very sad note indeed. A friend of mine back home, very close to my own age, has passed on. He’s had a long history of heart problems, but has battled through years of treatment without a single complaint and with a wonderful sense of humour. My sympathies go out to Nic, his fiancèe, and his family.

The world won’t be the same without you, Bob. Fewer sailors will be blushing at your abuse of the English language, and the air will be less blue! 🙂

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