Saturday 8th November – Hungry fish

Yep, those are my legs. I heard there are these fish who love to eat callously feet soooo….
I paid 15MYR for the pleasure, though I’m not sure you could ever call it pleasure. It’s kind’ve gross, a bit like millions of tiny electric shocks as they nibble at your skin. The biggest shock was the way they all dived to get to you and started nibbling like they were starving. I felt like screaming but there’s signs everywhere to please be quiet, so I held it in like a gurgling threat just under the surface. I had fifteen minutes of this and I distracted myself by reading the news on my iPad. My feet are not back to baby soft, mind you five months of sandals they were pretty gross and I guess I was hoping for a miracle. Nothing else for it. I will look for some pumice down on the beach today to finish the job but to be honest it’s pretty damn good.

We swam, read, I practised my drawing and we swam some more. It’s overcast and showery but still steamy hot enough to swim and just perfect for us. We decide to try the Chinese restaurant tonight, Oriental Pearl for dinner. Our waitress is called Normala and after being seated she asks Gilbert, like almost every other staff member here, if he’s perhaps Malaysian? He laughs and tells her “no, actually….” And tells her our pedigree. She puts down the usual selection of nuts and other bits and pieces and takes our order back. I bite down on a green thing that I thought was beans but is actually chillies. I pretty much spit it out immediately but not before…holy shit! My whole mouth and lips just ignited. Are you alright Gilbert asks seeing my pupils dilate and I start to fan my mouth. I’m contemplating the soya sauce dip while I eat the plate of sliced papaya.

Normala, returns with a wide smile and a carafe of Shiraz. “Would you like to try madam?” she asks. Just pour I indicate and show her the plate of chillies and point to my mouth and she says “ahh, the local food. Just a minute and bustles off coming back with a plate of sugar sachets and iced water. Sugar will help she advises. Take some now.” Blow me down cause it works. Must remember this as I swill the red wine and say to Gilbert the sugar helped but the wines fixing it.”

Normala asks if we have children and we nod and Gilbert has the photo out before you can blink. “Beautiful, she smiles and points to Lauren. Like you! She exclaims to Gilbert” Right now the tingling is easing and I remember when Lai and Willie are out for dinner with us and Lai and and I both choose a chilli dish. We are eating and talking and I say to Lai “are your lips tingling?” “What lips, she replies, I think they fell off” every time I think of this I can’t help but chuckle to myself and I’m remembering this right now as the last bit eases and Normala brings out the fattest and sweetest juicy battered prawns I think I’ve ever had.

Right behind it is the Peking Duck Gilbert ordered and she begins to skin and shred it ready for wrapping in small pancakes with cucumber strips dribbled with plum sauce. Oh yeah. He’s pretty happy. Rice, sizzling beef and broccoli is right behind. Normala asks if we have ever been in here before and we say yeah but you might not remember us. It was ten years ago. She laughs and says actually she was working there ten years ago. Before she got married and she shyly indicates she might have been a little smaller. I say that’s ok I don’t look the same either!

I woke this morning and said to Gilbert. “Just a few more days until we are outta this hell hole.” He just smiled at me. It’s funny to be loving something and wanting something else at the same time and I know we will be looking back In a few days time and wishing we were back here, well… maybe months…

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