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Do Not Engage

sunny 25 °C

Otres Beach, Shianoukville, Cambodia – 24th December

Spending Christmas on the beach is not a bad way to pass away the days and to make sure that I am completely exempt from any stresses or anxieties of the constant pressures of existence when it comes down to the festive period.

So it was only right that I punish myself in a way to relieve the bad karma I had clearly earned by being so damn selfish.

Lying on a beach I had very little to do other than to look forward to the food feast that was being cooked for us tonight by a Dutch family. In my complete idleness I am looking at all the buff hairless chests of those with enough masculinity and testosterone to make Tina Turner begin to recede. I look disappointedly at my chest and belly rug. I was being openly chestily challenged and I hadn’t felt this inadequate since comprehensive school at 12 years old, when I had a huge case of beard envy. My manicuring habits had not ventured north of my pubic mullet and south of my whispy beard and so my chest had been feeling slightly neglected.

Maybe fete came calling when during my bout of idle insecurity I was approached by the regular Cambodian hawkers who had been plaguing this beach.

‘Masaaaaa’aaaaggge, Sir?’ The way they hold on to that word takes some effort.

‘Sir, your feet, you need a pedicure?’

‘No, sorry none of them, but what I am really bothered about is this knot of hair, what can you and your Btec in Health and Beauty from Kirby College do for me?’

I had initiated a chain reaction that was now out of my control. First rule of dealing with Hawkers is ‘DO NOT ENGAGE HAWKERS.’
I had broken the rule and now I was surrounded by three of these multi-skilled therapists. They started to demonstrate to me how they could ‘make me a pretty boy.’

The clever bastards, this free demonstration left a great big tunnel in my hair highway. Their persistence and my idleness reaped dividends for them.

The next 75 minutes was spent regretting even thinking about removing any chest hair. I have always imagined that waxing was painful, but a benefit of waxing is that it is over with one clean swipe of the strip.

Try the Cambodian method. For 75 minutes I allowed these women to remove each hair out of my chest with nothing but a twisted up piece of string. These were women not to be messed around with. I kept as calm as anybody would under the circumstances, I was mindful that I was on the beach and I didn’t want to create a scene, but that lasted for about 5 minutes, then the crowds begun to get attracted to the wailing of the stupid bastard tourist who agreed to have his chest hair removed in public.

Needless to say that it was painful, my chest reddened and bled, even one of the hawkers had begun to sympathise, I swear she was 160 years old; she sat by me and tried to take my mind off the pain by stroking my nipples. I wasn’t in much of a state to argue, I would crease into a ball and cry for them to stop, they would get impatient and hold me down so that they could carry on with their work.

After 75 minutes of I lay there only glad that this experience had come to an end. It was hardly the climax that I was hoping for; I looked entirely naked without my carpet of knots to rest my medallion on. I ran into the sea to wash away the hair and the blood. I stayed in there until the crowd had dispersed. I ran out grabbed my towel and covered myself.

In private I could see what the knot of hair had been covering all this time. I wouldn’t be able to pass myself off as one of those Chest Pouting Monkeys on the beach. I was going to have to cover up this embarrassment and forget all about it.

I had quite fancied myself as a bald beach bum, I should have realised that I already had the credentials to be that, I didn’t need to take my rug off as well.

Money well spent? Well maybe not but I did learn a few valuable things that day

1. I was over charged for a start, chest hair removal is only 7 dollars, I had paid 15. Maybe the 8 dollars was to cover the stroking services of super gran
2. DO NOT ENGAGE WITH HAWKERS
3. I do not like my new bald chest and belly
4. I won’t be doing that again

I was told that it would take 3 months to grow back, that’s clearly a lie, I'm not even a couple of days into it and I have already got stubble.

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Article By David Beattie of Rounton Coffee

Posted by beatski 00:17 Archived in Cambodia Tagged beach cambodia christmas hair otres removal hawkers string

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