I am "Slowing"
Something to consider: why is "fasting" referred to as "fast-ing" when it is perhaps the slowest process in the world? Slower, even, than the service at Ulaanbaatar's famous Grand Khan Irish pub, where you can wait up to an hour for a warm beer in an empty bar. So, while you grab your lunch of a medium-rare cheddar cheeseburger with a toasted garlic bun (if you're at Credit Suisse, perhaps this would come from Shake Shack) and skinny fries that are burning hot and salty on the outside, mealy on the inside and wash it all down with a frosty fresh half-lemonade half-iced tea and creamy Danny Meyers' chocolate custard, allow me to tell you about my "slowing".
With much trepidation, I arrived Monday night at the (in)famous colonic cleansing spa resort in Koh Samui, Thailand. I had heard absolutely legendary tales of success: cleared vison, perfect skin, weight loss, even cleared-up stomach ailments. My goals were only modest: to look ten years younger and to remove any trace of months of mutton from my body (and perhaps Bolor, if you've been reading since June). My flight from Singapore landed with a vicious thud on the tarmac, and I proceeded to pass through immigration in the hut that is the Koh Samui international airport.
A small brown brat kicked me very hard in the shins, while his father tried not very hard to stop him. "You want a taxi, eh? Good price!" So I negotiated with the driver, and with his son, who continued to kick me. Driver and now-peacefully-sleeping-small-brown-brat dropped me off on a hillside in the middle of nowhere. I was given two pills and a heady list of instructions. I decided to sleep on it, and read up the next morning. At 4am, a gigantic flying roach used my head as a landing strip. In the Buddhist spirit of the resort, I politely considered his life for just a moment, and then beat him to death. I awoke the next morning to his legs strewn all over the bedsheet.
My first task on day one was to get out of this nowhere, and find the actual spa grounds. I'd booked what was supposed to be a more luxurious part of the spa, which was on a hillside about ten minutes' walk from the main spa. Without a map, without a telephone in my room, and without any food or drink, I went in search of the main spa grounds. Luckily, a western woman passed me who was able to point me in the correct direction. And, luckily once more, I was able to downgrade to a cozy beach hut in the main part of the spa.
I breakfasted on a cold mixture of whipped olive oil, orange juice, cayenne pepper, and garlic. My first day of "cleansing" required drinking this (surprisingly delicious, given how hungry I was) concoction twice, and eating fruit and steamed vegetables throughout the day. I spent the remainder of the day readng "1984" and the most recent edition of Foreign Affairs, which might as well be telling the same story: world domination. Somewhat depressed, I managed to drag myself to the steam room. A large Australian man (who oddly looked like he descended from koalas) bolted out, he was red as a roasted koala. I tiptoed inside. The thermometer inside said 130 degrees, but a Canadian man intimated, through clouds of herbal steam, that it was closer to 150 degrees. Apparently the thermometer had broken during its ascent. After watching a fire-breathing ceremony, I retired early.
A wake-up call at 6:45am, and I was ready for my first day of fasting. As in, NO FOOD FOR SEVEN DAYS. Nothing. Only liquids. With little more than determination (and a bentonite clay and psyllium-pineapple drink), I proceeded to a meditation class, then yoga. Try meditating on no food, then try performing yoga (try even just walking) without the benefit of nutrition. It ain't easy.
And here I sit. It is now just past noon, I am twelve hours into my first day. And I've looked at my watch 342 times today. The week of fasting is moving very slowly indeed.