Last night we went to a 'traditional' Thai restaurant and show where you ate 'traditional' Thai food and watched 'traditional' Thai dance and music. I use the term, 'traditional' loosely, as it also included a 'traditional' Thai light/lazer show and a musician was using a 'traditional' Thai bass guitar. It was blatently obvious that it was designed for tourists but we all knew it and went along with it. Everything that you can think of that is a Thai cliche was there, and we were all happily posing and taking photos of each other.
When we entered the eating area, everyone had to remove their shoes, which is custom in Thailand. We placed our shoes in one of several large racks with nothing stopping you from coming back out and taking any pair of shoes that you desired. I was happy knowing that my shoes were unlikely to be taken as they are two sizes bigger than the average thai persons' foot. (In one shoe store, they had only two pairs of shoes in the entire store that were big enough for me but that is another story.)
As we were ushered into the eating area, we immediately noticed that there were no tables. Everyone sat on the ground (as is the tradition) on small individual mats with a small back rest. At first, I thought this was fantastic; a chance to enjoy real Thai dining. Then it hit me...
Thanks to many long hours exercising and very little stretching, I cannot sit with my legs crossed. Scoff if you will, but I am not the only one. Several riders on the team are so inflexible, that they physically cannot sit with their legs crossed. This caused some major problems when trying to sit down for dinner.
Personally, I hate being uncomfortable while I eat. In fact, it boggles me that people will sit red-faced and covered in sweat while their mouth is on fire from eating a hot curry. Why not just have the same taste without the spicey heat??? Eating is an enjoyable and relaxing past time, it is not supposed to be tedious. And this is exactly how I felt while I sat in some weird new yoga position while I ate. It ruined the whole experience for me.
Many of the others sat and enjoyed the meal and the entertainment while I shifted and squirmed on my mat, trying to find a position remotely comfortable. Eventually, those less flexible, including myself, were sprawled around the dining area as if we were at home laying in a bean bag in front of the television. It may not have been very pretty, but dammit, I was comfortable.