Saturday, October 2

holy crap! shit happens!

For unfathomable reasons, I seem to always be flying off with severe lack of sleep. Oh, right, it's because I take four hours to pack every time.

In preparation for the detox [detox being a euphemism for colonic irrigation], I had been avoiding carbs and proteins as much as possible for two days. But I succumbed to the shrimp omelette on the plane. What can I say, I cannot resist food in compartmentalised trays. Also, the thought of not being able to eat for the next seven days was a strong motivation.

On arrival in Chiang Mai, I was whisked off to the resort, from which I would not step foot out for the next week or so. This was the view from the balcony of my "deluxe pool side room", also known as "the cheapest room in the house".

I'm not sure why housekeeping decided to welcome me with these honeymoon suite swans. To crack me up, probably.

The rest of the day was like an orientation: meeting with the health director [an absent-minded old man of some sort of Nordic origin who did not once ask me about my health], watching a welcome video by the founder in a Hawaiian shirt, which I'm sure was cheesy even when the film was shot in the early 1990s, and being instructed, while fully clothed, on, how do I put this delicately, sticking it up your ass. One last supper of raw zucchini "pasta" with marinara sauce -- Tasty! And I'm not being sarcastic! -- as I braced myself for deprivation, starvation and hallucinations of prawn cracker sticks.

Every day begins at 7am with a detox drink, made with some sort of gray liquid clay and psyllium husk mixed with watermelon and/or pineapple juices. You take this five times a day, every three hours. There are also herbal supplements in pill form, six of them, also five times a day, every three hours. I did not expect that to be the worst part of the detox, I thought it would be the lack of food, but the pills were truly vile, like regurgitated grass which is then fermented and dehydrated. But the detox drink was refreshing, despite the fact that there was clay in it.

I only made it for two of the meditation sessions. I figured I would just meditate in bed, because I was dozing off anyway while the guru was asking us to close our eyes and "watch the river of your thoughts, and then push it away". He also said: "Meditation is not doing. It is being." In my head, I was going: "It is boring."

I'm proud to say I made it for yoga every morning except one. Give me a break, I was on vacation, surely I was allowed to sleep in one morning. The yoga pavillion was on a hill with breathtaking views. Well, I was out of breath every morning after trekking up there anyway. But I must say I was already one of the fittest students and I felt a (probably unjustified) sense of superiority over the angmohs who couldn't even sit cross-legged and gazed upon my half lotus with awe and jealousy.

On top of the five detox drinks, we were also allowed one coconut [I accidentally on purpose ate the flesh once before reading the fine print of the fasting manual: "No chewing allowed"], one carrot juice [good thing I like carrots, otherwise it'd have been gross] and one vegetable broth [a.k.a. warm dishwater flavoured with three grains of salt]. The coconut was the highlight of my food-deprived day, but actually, I never felt hunger. I missed eating and food, but I didn't feel like how I usually felt at 12pm when I was at work and going, "Chi fan! Chi fan!'

There are two colemas a day -- I'll get to that at the end, so that the squeamish will have time to escape from this post -- but other than that, I was free to do anything and nothing. I chose nothing.

If the weather was nice, I'd go to the pool, do a few lazy laps, frantically apply liberal amounts of SPF 130 sunblock and then read. [Yes, The Art Of Travel is a bit of a cliche, but it's a good book. I also read two of David Sedaris' books, borrowed from my twin, which made me snort out loud most unbecomingly.]

I tried to fulfil my painterly ambitions. Don't laugh at my lopsided cake, this is my first attempt at painting anything other than cupboards and walls.

My package included daily tummy massages, you know, brute force to push the crap out. While my intestines were being squashed and twisted and pummelled, I gazed on a peaceful grove of bamboos and imagined scenes from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. After that, I would go for a sauna or steam bath to purge even more toxins.

Not being much of a nature lover, I didn't go hiking. My commune with nature was limited to this one inexplicable crab that scuttled across my path and the creepy crawlies in my room, including a big black butterfly which flew in and refused to leave.

One of the cats climbed onto my balcony, I know not how, and demanded to take a nap on my bed. There were scruffy dogs running around too, which made me miss my smelly one back home, but they didn't want to play with me.

This is not a pina colada. As if. From Day 4, we were advised to take this Liver Flush drink to rid our liver of toxins. Made of extra virgin olive oil, lemon and orange juices, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper, it sounded vile but was really yummy, like ginger tea with fruit juice and a peppery aftertaste. This was my last Liver Flush drink, sadly, although I guess I could always make it at home myself.

On Day 8, I broke fast. It took me 45 minutes to finish eating my first meal of a fruit platter, because apparently I had forgotten how to chew. I was expecting the flavours to explode in my mouth, but instead the pineapple was so sour, it made my tongue sting for hours.

We were told to eat only vegetables and fruit for the first two days, but I succumbed to a piece of garlic toast and some wanton soup when I went to town to do some shopping. In the mall I went to, supposedly the biggest in Chiang Mai, there was an entire floor devoted to buffet restaurants. The only thing holding me back was the urban legend circulating in the resort of some dude who ate some fried chicken at the airport after his fast -- and couldn't poop for two weeks after that.

And speaking of poop, that was what I did twice a day for seven days, 20 minutes each time. The first time was the most daunting, but they give you lubricant to make things go smoother. There was no pain, just like a mild tummy ache, and then whoosh, out it comes. Someone who had done it before said it was so shiok, she could have done it four times a day, no problem. I would have to agree. [The above photo from my morning trek to yoga is just there to break up all this shitty text.]

There was a plastic mesh basket colander thingy provided if you were inclined to take a closer look, but I was too put off by the thought of having to wash the actual thing to use it. But from what I could see from the toilet bowl, holy crap! It was amazing how much output there was every single time, despite there being not any input. [Cute kitty pix, in case your imagination starts running wild.]

The final dump was the most satisfying, as I produced what looked exactly like those pictures I'd seen on the internet. I almost felt proud. But not proud enough to take photos, because I didn't want to risk dropping my phone into the bowl. If you are feeling exceptionally brave, click here for pix. You have been warned, so don't blame me if you lose your lunch because you were kaypoh. [Ominous pix of approaching rainstorm, just because.]

When I weighed myself on the last day, I had lost 3kg. Sadly, it was easy go, easy come back, even though I did not eat any fried chicken. I do feel disgustingly healthy and rested and squeaky clean on the inside. I was also warned that during the fast, I might feel nauseated, vomit bile and get headaches -- which the other people I met there also experienced -- but I guess I wasn't as toxic as I thought I was, despite the vast quantities of prawn cracker sticks I had consumed.

Heading home sweet home to my favourite dish in the whole wide world -- mum's chicken soup. But I didn't eat the chicken, just in case.

1 comment:

Cigarette Sally said...

Very intersting blog!!