Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Milkman Always Bathes Twice

For the past four months or so there has been a sign outside a luxury spa near my apartment advertising a special "Milky Bath" for 190 Baht. I had been wanting to take the spa up on this special ever since I saw the sign, as I love both baths and things that are under 200 Baht. I had been casually asking people about the milky bath, too, investigating, finding out if anyone had any information about what a milky bath might be. Some thought that it would be a pool of milk, and that perhaps there would be a milk lady there to pour pitchers of milk over my body; others thought there would be no pool, only the milk pitchers. Everyone agreed that it was true the milky bath would be good for my skin. Everyone agreed it was also true that only women take milky baths.

Correction, friends: it used to be true that only women take milky baths. This morning, roused by a 930 A.M. wakeup call from a wrong number, I set out to bath-a-torium for my milky bath, to detox, relax, and other five letter words ending in X. Uh, Lorax. Yeah, I speak for the trees, so long as the trees are saying that I love to take baths.

I arrived at the spa and announced that I would be purchasing one milky bath, please. They asked me what else I wanted, besides a milky bath--a-ha, there's the catch! They lure you in with the cheap bath, and then they try to sell you the massage ON TOP of the cheap bath! Well, I've got bad news for you, Spa With The Milky Bath--I don't want to buy your 300 Baht massage, or your oatmeal rubdown--all I want is a milky bath, whatever that may be, and I want it NOW. Milk me up, Milky Lady.

I was told to sit in the lobby and wait as the milky bath was prepared. After about five minutes, I was led to a the back of the spa and into a bathroom--sink, toilet, shower, and, yes, bathtub, where a murky, milky solution filled half the tub. A dozen rose petals floated on top. Four scented candles burned at the four corners of the tub. The Milky Lady turned on the hot water and explained that I could fill the bath all the way up to my desired temperature. She handed me a towel, dimmed the lights, and piped in some relaxing music. Then she left me to my milky bath.

So, there was no Milky Lady pouring pitchers of milk onto my naked body, as I laughed until I cried, as I foresaw in my imagination. It was just a bath in a scented milk solution, a soothing 25 minutes (suggested Milky Bath duration) of bathing in Ovaltine. After a nice relaxing, detoxing, Loraxing soak in the tub, I strode out into the dry late-morning Chaing Mai heat, my skin guarded by a subcutaneous milk layer. The sky was clear and so were my pores. I was ready to attack the day, to milk it for all it was worth.

Then I took a three hour nap and woke up wrapped in dry sweat. I wonder if the dog at dinner tonight thought I tasted like salty milk.

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