*footnote: when I say “American’s” I am referring to those who come from North America.
I was at the hospital with my homestay dad – Nui ; I had a bad cough and he was taking me to get it looked at and hopefully something to help it. The nurse had to do some general “test things” such as blood pressure and weight. The blood pressure was fairly smooth; she had to do my left arm twice, but other than that…flawless. It was when I stepped on the scale that the hospital experience here in Thailand truly became a cultural experience. My homestay dad was standing behind me, translating (the best he could) what the nurse was asking and my answers. I stepped on the scale, and up the numbers went from “0” until they stopped. As soon as they stop I hear the voice of Nui: “O MY GOD!!!!”, at a considerable volume and with laughter following his outburst. I smiled at him, stepped off the scale and walked back to my seat. I was more amused than offended, and since we had been warned of episodes such as this one, I was not surprised.
Comments about weight or size are not unusual here in Thailand. People have had vendors tell them not to try clothes on because they’ll “break them.” Even some of the homestay families requested to have only one student because they didn’t think that two would fit into their house. It’s strange to be in a place where weight is dinner table conversation, and calling someone fat, or making comments that suggest it are acceptable. Thai people are so small, in height and size and I cannot imagine how big we look to them.
I am looking forward to my next Big Mac.