Day 8 – A sick day

January 16th, 2010 by under Uncategorized. No Comments.

I woke up at 4 a.m. with a knot in my stomach and a wave of nausea. A small case of food poisoning took me out of the game today, and I will spare you the details of the actual sick part. However, even during a sick day, I noticed some Thai culture. After being nudged by my parents on Skype to call the hotel doctor, I put in the call. Within five minutes, an unassuming, kind Thai woman walked into my room looking calm and smiling. She asked me a few questions and then performed some routine measures like taking my temperature, checking my appendix for pain, and listening in on my heart. The nurse’s English was good enough that I understood her questions and instructions clearly. I wondered, though, if I spoke Chinese or Spanish how easy it would b to communicate. She can’t know every language, right? For a meager $20, I received immediate bedside care and fitting medicine.

I pulled myself out of bed around 3 p.m. I had been on and off sleeping and decided I had to stretch my cramped, somewhat dehydrated legs. I moved down to the pool area and ordered some toast with butter. Instead, I got toast with mayonnaise; not the most appetizing dish. Plain toast worked just fine, though, and I took in the surrounding area as I nibbled on my $4 slice of bread. Next to me were two women drinking pina coladas and speaking English with a heavy French accent to the waiter. Again, I wondered how much more difficult it might be to speak another language. It is quite a worldly benefit to be a native English speaker. Granted, as the youngest country in the world, we’ve certainly worked for it. I will not deviate into a political discussion, though, I simply want to bring to light the remarkable spread of the English language.

Unfortunately, I had to miss the touring of the Ayutthaya river and the Buddhist temples, and I had to miss exploring Bangkok with those who stayed behind. If there was ever a time and place to get sick on a trip, though, it was today at the Royal Orchid Sheraton.

– – – Over dinner that night – – –


After speaking with some returning students and discussing cultural observations and research, most characterized Thailand as rapidly westernized country; fast economic growth coupled with an attractive market for direct foreign investment (due to the political and economic stability) make for a tourist’s haven. Interestingly enough, these  same trends parallel the growth in Thailand’s sex industry and, unfortunately, a simlar increase in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Home to the most transgendered people in the world, Thailand is no stranger to sexual overtness. Unashamed of the differences between one’s Self and one’s appearance, Thai people associate with the Self, most importantly.