Saturday, 6 May 2006

Hair Cut (by Royal Appointment) at Toni and Guy's, Bangkok

Yes, Al (my UK hairdresser) takes about an hour to cut my hair and charges a lot of cash but I don't look like a complete twat when I leave the salon and that is worth paying for.

He's my favourite hairdresser. He runs Futuro in Bene't Sreet, Cambridge. He is an Italian guy trained at Toni and Guy before setting up his very own successful salon in Cambridge. Clearly he is good and has always left me with a quality and satisfying cut.

Sadly, after 3 years in Spain he has had his work cut out for him (forgive the pun) each time I returned in the summer for a 'rectification' cut. Why does no-one in Seville know how to cut hair? You get two bloody choices, a US Marine cut in the summer, or a slightly longer US Marine cut in the winter. It takes all of 4 minutes and costs a tenner and causes me so much stress.

So when Paula suggested I get my hair cut in Bangkok at Toni and Guy's for about 15 I jumped at the chance (it would normally cost me about €50-60 in Europe).

As my legs reluctantly carried me into Siam Paragon I began to look forward to sitting down and being pampered for an hour or so, as did they. Oh it's been so long. (Come on Spain, read this).

Paula left her instructions with the staff (she's a director by profession you see) and went shopping. A pretty young Thai hairdresser then proceeded to wash my hair for me. Now I don't know about you but I love having my head massaged. I think my scalp is one of the most sensitive parts of my body and this girl gave me the best head massage I have ever had. Talk about ability! It must have lasted about 10 minutes in all.

It was so good I even forgot about the agony of my legs but unfortunately it was over all too soon. (The best ones always are). I sat down in front of the mirror and noticed that the atmosphere in the salon had perceptibly changed somehow. Had I embarrased myself?

No I hadn't of course, it was only a massage, but whilst my head was in heaven unbeknown to me a VIP had entered the salon for a cut. I heard it all from Paula afterwards but สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา เจ้าฟ้ามหาจักรีสิรินธร รัฐสีมาคุณากรปิยชาติ สยามบรมราชกุมาร had just entered the place!!!!!

Yes, you heard me - สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา เจ้าฟ้ามหาจักรีสิรินธร รัฐสีมาคุณากรปิยชาติ สยามบรมราชกุมาร, or in English Som det phra thep phra rat raat cha su daa Chao fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Ratha si ma ku na korn pi ya chat Siam ba rom ma raat cha ku maa ree.

Not only was she here but she was actually sitting next to me!!

สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา เจ้าฟ้ามหาจักรีสิรินธร รัฐสีมาคุณากรปิยชาติ สยามบรมราชกุมาร (Som det phra thep phra rat raat cha su daa Chao fa Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Ratha si ma ku na korn pi ya chat Siam ba rom ma raat cha ku maa ree) is none other than Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, daughter of the Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej (known as Phra Thep to her friends).

So Paula nonchalantly ambles up to me, curtsies and gives me a huge glass of chilled and delicious coffee (OK, she didn't, but she did give me the drink).

So there I was with a beautiful woman providing me with delicious drinks, another running her hands through my hair (but only in a professional capacity of course) and the ultra respected and highly regarded Princess of Thailand sitting next to me, having her mop sorted out for her birthday bash the next day, or so she said.

Now who felt like royalty? Lap it up Dave.

So I left Toni and Guy's with a great haircut, a beautiful woman on my arm and an anecdote to bore people with for years to come. Even my legs had stopped complaining.

And just to finish the afternoon off per
fectly, we popped downstairs to the incredible food hall. To think that one of Paula's Spanish students once said to her that she'd 'miss Spanish food!' The whole ground floor was covered with different types of food stall/restaurants/bakerys etc.

All professionally attended, all immaculate, all delicious. So we walked around making difficult choices before sitting down and stuffing our faces with incredible Thai food all washed down with perfect Thai service.

And then I couldn't stand up. The legs had finally given up. Oh bugger...

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