Living the Farang Life – Day 3 & 4 (May 29th – 30th)

I started Day 3 with breakfast at Tony’s.  Their “honey toast” is addictive…think French Toast bites or beignets (my mouth is watering as I type this again, lol).  Afterwards, I walked down to the other main road, Chaofa West Road (East is the other one which runs parallel).  I checked out the 7-11 and some local convenient store, which sold groceries as well.  But the highlight were the clean food-stalls in between.  The ones I saw the other day had flies swarming around the fish and meat on the grill…also who knows how long that stuff has been sitting in the heat, un-refrigerated. I like my Halal/ street carts back in NYC, but um yeah, I’ll pass on the sketchy ones here. So anyways, this one cart had these breaded deep-fried things…having an “inner fat kid” in me, I immediately asked the lady how much and she put up 10 fingers twice (20 baht / $0.80 US).  When I ripped into them, they were fried bananas, almost like Spanish platanos/ maduros…soooo good!  From the other cart, I got these chicken balls on a stick and dumplings/goyaza’s on a stick for 50 baht total.  Afterwards, I went for  a swim in the pool since the sun was actually out.  Later on I had Penang fish curry at Muay Thai House restaurant.

I was proud of myself for getting through my 1st 2-hour training session at Phuket Top Team, so decided my body could hold up for Day 2 training.  However, this time I wanted to check out a different gym, so went to Dragon Muay Thai http://www.facebook.com/pages/Phuket-Dragon-Muay-Thai/95986860947  literally  a few hundred feet from my room (this was one of the reasons for staying at Fern House Retreat).  Before I booked my flight to Thailand, I did a lot of research on the various Muay Thai gyms in Phuket and people had generally good things to say about Dragon.   The class started with skipping rope, jogging around the ring, and shadow-boxing.  Then 5 rounds of padwork.  I really liked my pad-holder, Kru Cha http://www.muaythaidragon.com/trainers.html  He really helped me with my stance , footwork and leg kicks.  He also called me RoboCop because my shoulders kept tensing up, lol (this is something I’ve been trying to work on back at home).  After that came 3 rounds of bag-work, and one of the kru’s worked on my front kick (teeeeeep!).  At this point, that’s when I had a moment…the one that goes “oh sh1t, what did I sign myself up for”?!?  lol  I was somewhat gassed and a blister on my left toe started to develop because this gym has carpet/ rug, similar to outdoor patio rug, instead of soft-foam mats.  A whistle blew and it was a short break, then 20 min of clinch work in the ring.  The first guy wasn’t  a kru but a student like me, Manny (poss. American).  He showed me some kewl basic techniques like pushing your opponents cheek/chin away then popping your shoulder to free yourself.  Kru Rolex (yes, like the watch) showed me some “side-step” knee/ throw-your-ass to the ground moves.  Kru Cha also worked me in the clinch as well.   Some solid knowledge transfer occurred.  The end of the training session ended with 20 round-house kicks, 20 low-kicks and cool-down drills.  During this time, one of the kru’s 4-year old son in Muay Thai shorts was doing the drills with us…he had such a cute laugh and was really cheerful.  The class size over-all was a bit smaller than yesterday.

When I got back to my room, I went for a quick swim to cool-off.  That’s when my ham-string started to have a spasm and I had to limp outta the pool…earlier at the gym, I got a charlie-horse during the cool-down stretches. That’s when I decided Wednesday would be an off-day from training.  What people don’t realize is that part of going to a Muay Thai camp is training smart and not going 110% everyday.  As I met people here, they all mentioned taking it easy in the beginning and not to over-train or you’ll get injured or lower your immune system and get sick (been taking oil of oregano drops in my water religiously).   One positive aspect of going on vacation to a place like this is meeting really interesting people who have the same interests, goals, etc. as you.  The resort is pretty small (9 rooms) and I already met everyone (got really good vibes from the other guests).  So that night, Dave #2(Asian Australian), Ryan (Canadian) and myself went out for Dan’s (Canadian) birthday…took a tuk-tuk truck to Rawai  and hit up a few bar night-clubs there.  I wasn’t training the next day so had a few drinks and got a bit loco.

Wednesday (day 4) I woke up with a slight headache but not too bad.  After breakfast, Tanja gave me my scooter key and Dave showed me how to operate it.  It was pretty straight-forward (automatic shift)….Yamaha 100 cc!  I followed him on his scooter and he gave me a tour of the town, along with some helpful information since he’s been here for 5-6 weeks already.  First place was a Tesco grocery store and picked up a few things, then a gas-station where it only cost 100 baht to fill up the tank.  The scooter came with a used helmet and was kinda gross looking.  So Dave brought me to a Honda dealership and I got a new white one (matches my Carrera sunglasses, ha) for 200 baht/ $6 US.  Got to snap some scenic pics at Chalong Pier afterwards.  It started to pour a bit, but then turned into moonsoon #2, so we pulled over and hung out at Home Depot type store.  Dave’s Asian like me, so again, one of the workers started speaking Thai to me, lol.  I feel like such a gringo, ha.  Last stop was the “Central Mall”…this is the nicer touristy mall (4 levels).  Highlight: Food court, haha.  Got this fish ball noodle soup for only 70 baht.  All in all, today was a good day to relax as this was the first time the sun stayed out mostly…also, getting a scooter definitely helped make me feel like I’m on holiday and like a local…had such a cool-aid smile cruising down the main strip 🙂  And I also survived rush-hour commuter traffic.

I was hoping to start up with Muay That again on Thursday, but my calves are jacked up as well.  One of the super-kewl and knowledgeable guys I met here is an Aussie named Nick.  We were talking and he mentioned meditation…so I might visit this place and try it out tomorrow instead of physical training.  Plan on getting a Thai massage as well.  G’nite.

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