The horrors of getting what you want.

My sister Pam spent much of our trip to Thailand talking about something very specific she wanted to do.

We all had things we wanted to do and everyone tried to accommodate everyone else. Pam and I wanted to take a half day Thai cooking course so my other sister and Betty came along. Pink tool belt sister loves jewellery so we spent a few hours looking at jewellery in gold markets and shops. Betty likes to play on her iPad, so we spent any down time watching her creep people on Facebook.

Throughout it all,  Pam rattled on about this thing she wanted to do.  Which meant we’d all be doing it.

When the day finally came that Pam got to do this thing she’d been hoping for, dreaming about, I thought she might burst with excitement.

The morning of “the event” she was walking on air, talking about how great it was going to be.  Counting down the minutes until we got to go.  Just look at the glee on her face.  She’s like a child on Christmas morning.

Face Reactio Fish Pedicure


A child who has been very bad. Bad, bad child.


Fish Pedicure Face Reaction 2


So what was supposed to be a joyous, lifetime ambition realized was in fact, a horrifying, scream inducing ritual normally reserved for nightmares.

What was it that had Pam crying and screaming for her life?


Fish Spa
A fish pedicure.

She hated it. She hated it with all her heart. And so did the man sitting next to us. Well he didn’t hate the fish pedicure, so much as the screaming loons sitting all around him.
Karen Gets A- Fish Pedicure


Pam, Pink tool belt and Betty all had very different reactions to having tiny toothless carp eat dead skin cells off of their feet, but they all had one thing in common. They didn’t like it.

Pink tool belt sister laughed until she nearly peed herself.

Betty hated it so much she barely put her feet in the water and when she did she was swishing them around at a rapid pace trying to avoid all contact with fish. She was so swishy in fact, that the owner of the spa had to come over and hold her legs still telling her she was going to kill the fish. Betty didn’t care. Betty swished.

Me? It didn’t bother me. At all. I was more horrified by the whack job behaviour of my family than by the suckling fish.

We in fact caused such a commotion that no less than 3 people stopped in front of the window we could be seen through and took our picture.  They thought we were hilarious.

In fact a girl passing by on a Tuk Tuk nearly tumbled out the back she was laughing and pointing at us with such vigour.  Joke’s on her.  I recognized that Tuk Tuk driver from a day earlier and he was going to overcharge her no matter where it was she was going.  Sucker.

Laughing At Us

This gentleman outside the window made the universal “can I take your picture” sign to which Pam (fed up by the relentless sucking on her toes and gawking), replied with another universal hand sign.

Luckily I don’t think the gentleman spoke sign language and took her gesture to mean “one picture”.

After 15 minutes we all pulled our feet out,  then had them hand dried by the spa owner and were gently nudged towards the door.  It was supposed to be a 30 minute treatment but the owner decided 15 minutes was just fine for us for some reason.

So that was Pam’s wish list taken care of.  I was looking forward to telling her about mine.

Which of course was sushi.


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  1. Vanessa says:

    Since the Diva cup and I then subscribed to getting a “daily dose of Karen” I find it’s not enough. So from time to time I go back through older posts that I wasn’t around for originally. I think this one is my favorite. I’ve read it three times now. Laughed ever time. Your family may have embarrassed you at the time (although you look as though you are enjoying their discomfort as much as the pedicure) but you then got to post all about it, for the people of the world to enjoy, again and again. Not to mention an excellent new nick name for your sister. Aren’t siblings great?

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Vanessa! Fish Pedicure is NOT pleased with her nickname. At all, lol! ~ karen

      • Vanessa says:

        Had to go back and read this again today…3 days of posting sucks! (But I really do understand. No, really I do. I’m just spoiled. I’ll get over it, eventually…maybe. It’s hard to be loved isn’t it?)

  2. Tricia Rose says:

    You have heard of Tiberius’ exploits on Capri haven’t you?

  3. Natika says:

    Oh this post was awesome! They call them Doctor Fish in Japan. Isn’t that cute? Now you’ve made me want to try it. Hilarious!

  4. JBess says:

    I did that in Kuala Lumpur, and really enjoyed the first 5 minutes. Then another girl came along and put her feet in. All the fish stayed on my feet. After a little while, I lifted my feet out- they went to her feet. I put my feet back in- they all came back to my feet. I felt guilty and a little embarrassed. She had been wearing flip-flops whereas I had spent a hot, hot day wearing closed leather shoes with bare feet. You can imagine how much, uh, food was on them. Finally I left my session early, so the other girl could get chomped on by little fish. I went back the next day when I saw the place was empty :)

  5. Janet says:

    Karen, I missed this when you first posted, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait. The picture of the anguish on your poor sister’s face, and the happy delight on your face, tells the whole story. I just want a picture of Betty swishing the fish away!

    Great post. Absolutely terrific. :D

  6. Megan says:

    HA! I can’t stop laughing at the photos. So good.

  7. Sera says:

    I can’t believe I missed this story! I love it! I don’t think I could do it. I like fish in theory nut having the. Around my body kind of freaks me out. I’m not a very good snorkeler either.

  8. Gayle Woodworth says:

    My step-mom is Thai and I have a Thai half sister. We have gone to Thailand a few times and my sister always is getting me into bizarre and strange predicaments. The fish pedicure was only one…Having someone who speaks Thai really makes for a great experience. We went “off the normal tourist path” all the time. Wonderful country and beautiful people. And the food is AMAZING!!! Street cart food is the best!!! (wasn’t really thrilled with Bangkok.) We loved Chiang Mai (sp) and then gown to Ubon Ratchatonia (sp)

  9. TorontoBoy says:

    HA HA HA X INFINITY! (Oh! My stomach hurts!)

  10. Gina says:

    Oh my goodness, this is hilarious!! My niece also did this recently. I won’t get to see her until Easter so I’ll definitely be asking her about it!! Love your posts!

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