I find shopping for clothes in Bangkok rather damaging to my ego. Having been an XS /S (and post baby, an M) back home in India, it feels terrible to be rummaging in the XL bin over here.
And it doesn't help that the dainty Thai women floating around the store - even the ones pushing their chubby babies in strollers - all look like they would be barely visible in profile.
The sizes are not always standard, which means I have to ask what my size would be, suffer the salesperson's appraising up-down look, and then hear the dreaded 'L' word. So today, when I did the usual 'what-size-would-a-waist-30-be' mumble, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the shop assistant recommend an 'M'.
I had about 5 seconds to rejoice before I heard a second shop assistant correct the first one in Thai, "Mai dai! Sophohk yai maak!" Having recently completed a lesson on parts of the body in Thai, I was unfortunately quite able to understand what she had said:
"No way! Her hips are too big!"
She was probably right too, but that was about all my self-esteem could handle for the day, so me and my too-big hips hightailed it out of the store (pausing only for some comfort in the form of a sugar doughnut - what the hell, the hips have been already labelled XL!)
On the way home I stopped off at a frame shop to pick up some stuff I had ordered. While waiting for the frames to be wrapped, I chatted with the friendly shop owner and the conversation came around to children.
I was shocked when she told me she had a 25 year old son, since she hardly looked 35. I said as much and she gleefully informed me that she was 46 and had married young. She then asked about me. I told her I had a 14 month old daughter to which she responded cheerfully, "Oh, so small? You marry very late, eh?"
Hummph! Apparently, I have bigger things to worry about than my waist size preceding me into the 30s. So if you'll excuse me, I have to go polish off that tub of ice cream that I have unnecessarily been resisting this past week.