Protein Bars at WOW Gym!

29 Mar

After some reflection time, I decided to go up to the top floor of the Paragon Mall.  I stumbled upon a fitness gym called California Wow. I was hungry and decided I would buy me some protein bars. I walked up to the front desk.  Before I was able to say anything, the man behind the counter put his hand up in front of my face and said, ‘Can’t come in. Members only.’  If this scene were in a movie, it would look something like this: Caught by security lazers! white man infiltrating, white man is infiltrating.  Calling all stations.  Prepare to approach suspect like a pack of confused dogs; talk shit about him in Thai; remember to glance back and forth at your colleagues in stupid bewilderment.  Bonus points for anyone who calls another staff member to look confused in front of the strange white male who has clearly no business in a members-only fitness club.  


‘No no, I don’t want to become a member,’ I said.  I just want to buy some protein.’


A pack of 4 staff members, 3 guys and one lady, escorted me to the window that displayed various shakes and boxes of protein bars.  They all stared at me as if I were an outlandish brute.  One of the ladies handed me a variety of flavors, while one of the guys stood and watched.  The box was 1300 BAT and each bar was 350 BAT.  I tried to haggle with them for a cheaper price for the box, but the personal trainer would not give in.  Fine, I’ll take 4 bars!  But I want to see the nutrition information first.  Of course every bar had a barcode sticker right over the carb, calorie, and protein content.  I rummaged through every bar in hopes of finding one bar without the damn sticker in the same place.  Another man with the came over to join in on the concerted collective effort of playing the popular game of ‘Crowd the white foreigner, look confused, and invite more people to come over and look confused.’  Finally I just ripped the sticker off to see.  I agreed to by four bars.  ‘Shouldn’t someone be on the floor of the gym?’ I wanted to ask them. ‘Aren’t there people who need to be trained?  Or are you having too much fun passively interacting with the exotic animal that wants to buy your food?’ As I was handing the lady money, another girl skipped over to me.  So add another person to the fiasco, and we’re up to, um let me see, 7 employees plus me.  The entire staff of gym staff stood there in a circle with me in the middle.  The new girl who just arrived looked at me and then opened her mouth to smile and I almost had to shade my eyes from the glistening shine that reflected from her silver braces.  Her eyes squinted as she smiled and said, ‘you want to become member?’


“No no, I’m leaving tomorrow,” I said.  “I just wanted to buy some protein bars.  Thank you.”


But this one was determined to squeeze some money out of me. “I give you good deal on membership!’


‘How about you give me a good deal on a box of protein bars and we’ll call it a day,’ I said.  ‘I’m not staying in Thailand very long!’


‘Oooooh!’ she persisted.  ‘How long you stay?  I give you good deal.’  Her trained saleswoman smile didn’t cease.  It was so awfully unconvincing.  The only true thing here was the fact that her teeth would soon to be straightened.  That’s it. I took my bars and said farewell.  This story is an example of one reason I personally love traveling.   When you go to new cultures, you’re bound to encounter silly experiences with others.  Thank you, Wow Gym staff for giving me an interesting experience buying protein bars.  


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