Keeping a keen eye on route alternatives to Thornhill, I ultimately began gathering my things for a 12:40 PM departure. My eighth class at Sum would not commence until 2 PM, yet I was confident that 401 commuters would result in a setback at some point along the way. (Mind you, I was right.)
I strode into the facility at 1:58 PM and was greeted immediately. She pointed the thermometer at my forehead and, upon obtaining a satisfactory value, welcomed me into the studio space. I proceeded to relay concerns over pain in the right shoulder, particularly in the vicinity of the AC joint. A brief visual inspection was conducted, followed by comparison with the left shoulder. At a loss for the proper English word, she resorted to Google Translate. "Inflammation" it read. A minty substance was distributed over the area in an attempt to alleviate the swelling, though its cause remained a mystery.
Majority of the class would be spent on the Cadillac. The Arc Barrel was positioned near its midpoint. With the back towards the curved accessory and feet placed roughly hip-distance apart, I would curl down in a C-shape with the arms outstretched before me. Once the entire trunk touched the barrel, the spine would be lengthened, the body relaxed. At that point, I would curl back up, leading with the arms, then chin, and lastly stacking the spine. This Arc Barrel-assisted Rollup would be performed several times before moving onto a half-Rollup. As the name indicated, it involved curling halfway down to the barrel, resisting gravitational pull for five seconds, then returning to the original position.
While familiar with this portion of the routine, it was undeniable that greater impacts could be felt with rectified form. It dawned upon me that maintaining levelness of the hips during execution was not as simple as I had once believed. Once again, I was constantly reminded to lift the chin up. In order to achieve this, I allowed my gaze to fall upon the tower of the Reformer on the other side of the room.
A figure-four stretch over the Ladder Barrel constituted the sole cooldown stretch of the day.
- On the door facing the hallway outside was an empowering 당신니 이뤄내지 못할 것은 아무것도 없다. / There is nothing you cannot achieve.
- At the entrance of the private lesson room was an uplifting 당신은 오늘이 제일 예쁘다. / You are the most beautiful today.
- Along the mirror of the group class space was an encouraging 걱정하지 마, 이내 예쁜 꽃을 피울테니까 / Don't worry, soon a beautiful flower will bloom.
- And by the door of the exit was the timeless reassurance of 수고했어 오늘도 / You did well today too.
Seventeen out of eighteen of the holes included a circular, sponge-like buffer to prevent the balls from falling beyond reach, whereas the last was a pipe that returned balls back to the facility. Putters were to be placed on the rack by the eighteenth hole; sanitizer was conveniently situated at this location to encourage usage. In review of the parched and peeling conditions of my hands, disposable gloves had been prepared in advance to escape the wrath of industrial-grade ingredients.
Forty dollars' worth of credits were loaded onto my card, albeit with some hiccups associated with card-sharing between locations. The 250 Chips would last us for about two hours, used steadily over the first ninety minutes while queuing for our turn.
Needless to say, I couldn't resist the Grand Piano Keys, where the top score was attained yet again, nor Speed of Light (a measly 381 due to malfunctioning bulbs). DDR was enjoyed on the Beginner and Normal levels to Clarity and no tears left to cry. In spite of varying noise levels from all directions, the tunes could still be clearly heard over other gamers, unlike Pacific Mall and Playdium.
Upon depletion of all credits, we joined the line for the redemption room. My gaze fell upon an electronics pouch - likely overpriced at 1400 credits, yet also likely the most useful item on the shelves. There was the option of redeeming food items with my 3600-or-so winnings, however I was steered in the direction of an alternative dinner destination.
We bid farewell to the nasty, flooded bathrooms with crumpled disposable gloves and toilet paper-less stalls at 7 PM. The lineup outside persevered, only lengthening with time.
Strolling into Siamese Thai, we learned of the presence of one other party. The man behind the counter neared us in greeting, then gestured to the empty tables to indicate availability. We seated ourselves at a table by the window; strips of LED lights had been installed along the perimeter for ambiance.
Amongst my first observations was the stickiness of the table. The same status applied to the chairs and the menus. Water was served in a glass jug that rested within arm's reach for ease of refills.
First to arrive were eight neatly-wrapped Fresh Rolls and two square sharing plates. Proving more appealing in appearance than taste, the chicken strips were largely unseasoned and atrociously dry, while ungreased edges (circumferences?) stuck together. That said, I appreciated the inclusion of red pepper strips and lettuce, along with the tangy dipping sauce. It was uncertain whether separate dipping containers had been provided in consideration of COVID, however the inclusion was appreciated.
A request for chopsticks was made at this point. Two sets were wrapped in napkins and promptly provided by a female member of staff. She was pleasant, though I couldn't quite shake concerns over her half-masking practice.
The Tom Kha Gai was passable at best with a few pieces of quartered mushrooms, a single sprig of parsley, and more chewy chicken strips. Albeit creamy, the soup lacked the sweet fragrance of coconut and typical incorporation of lime. Consumed in conjunction with the soup was the Coconut Rice, which, unfortunately also bore minimal coconut-iness.
As with the Fresh Rolls, the Pad Thai adopted a promising appearance with crushed peanuts and the flavour and hue of soy. Use of the lime wedge was forfeited due to digits made sticky from the plates; further difficulty was witnessed towards the end of the meal when they proceeded to adhere to the table. My already uneasy stomach had some trouble digesting the noodle dish, however, in light of its overwhelmingly greasy properties, I would likely not be able to sustain more than a few bites on a normal day regardless.
My entrance into the chilly corridor was met with surprise: the door was strangely light, as if loose on the hinges. Inside the corridor were three stalls, two for each gender and one accessible. The latter contained a malfunctioning soap dispenser, thus I resorted to the women's stall once vacant. There I found the identical commercial pink soap and a less-than-squeaky-clean odour.
"Should have known it was a trap given how few cars there are." was overheard as the door closed behind us. I could only crack a weak smile, for the statement was not incorrect and I owned full responsibility.