Wounds apart

by Cindy Austin

This weekend I had some sort of stomach bug and today my tour guide, Yut, did too. As we hopped from temple to temple Yut’s face got more and more distorted. You could tell he was in pain by the way he clutched at his stomach and could barely make full sentences.

While stopped at one of the temples, Yut couldn’t show us around because he was in so much pain so we helped ourselves. When we got back to the bus, Yut showed us huge red marks, 10 inches long and 2 inches thick down his back. We gaped at the eight or 10 marks as he explained he had been “coined.”

While I was sick, I talked to my mother about what medicines she’d recommend as a nurse. I took the pills she prescribed and felt better after a while. Yut had talked to one of the ladies around the temple and she had offered to coin him, which meant taking a coin and scraping it up and down his back to “release the pain.”

I couldn’t help but compare our two approaches, but who knows which one works better.


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