It Hurts So Good

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January 21st 2019
Published: January 30th 2019
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Jan 21st,

My experience getting a Thai massage is the inspiration behind the title of this blog. This morning, we paid 250 baht ($8) for an hour and a half massage. Sounds like pure bliss, right? Wrong. Thai massages, as I mentioned before in a previous blog, focus heavily on pressure points and stretching. Fifteen minutes into my massage, I almost handed him the 250 baht and ran out because I was in so much pain. Fortunately, after the intense pressure point part was over and the forceful stretching of my non-flexible legs, the remaining part of the massage was pretty enjoyable. With that being said, I felt an aching pain in my hands and feet the rest of the day and even into the night. My group and I have come to the conclusion throughout our time here that if you walk into your massage and a male masseuse is standing there... walk the other way. Women are much more gentle and don’t cause nearly as much pain.

After our massages, we went to tour a public hospital here in Chang Mai known as Bangkok Hospital. We were absolutely blown away by the facility, as it was much nicer than any hospital that I’ve seen in the United States. The décor was over the top, and the medical facilities themselves were comparable (if not better) than America. Every little detail was perfect. Each room even had their own Litman stethoscope (a very expensive brand of stethoscope), so that the nurses did not need to use theirs and bring a stethoscope from room to room. It was shocking and a little disturbing to see how different the public and private hospitals are. A lot of us were wondering where all the funding comes from and how the healthcare can be SO much different in the same city. We were also wondering what the incentive would be to work as a nurse in a public hospital over a private hospital and found out that working for public hospitals means working for the government. As a result, these nurses get pension and continue getting paid after retirement around 60 years old. With public hospitals, they do not get government benefits, but they are paid around 30,000 baht a month compared to 12,000 in the public hospitals.

When we got back from the hospital, we thought we were on campus for the night. However, we were surprised by a text at 5:00 saying we were leaving to go out to a nice dinner at 5:25. We went to this amazing organic restaurant and got the most American food we have eaten all trip. I got a salmon salad that was absolutely amazing! While we were at dinner, we found out that we are the worst students ever because we all had no idea that it was our professors birthday the day before. Luckily, our Thai leaders picked up our slack and surprised Mel with singing and dessert at dinner!

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