Culture shock: it doesn’t lose suction
My father was born in a poor Greek village during World War II, then grew up during the Greek Civil War. He had lived in the United States for less than half his life when he first arrived in Vietnam in 1967. So, while other American soldiers had to get used to the utterly foreign living conditions, my father always says he felt right at home. “No running water? No flushing toilets? No problem!”
Well, walking along the riverfront in Can Tho a few days ago, we saw a sick old man lying on the sidewalk getting about a dozen heated glasses stuck to his back and yanked off, leaving behind red, swollen marks.
The rest of us were fairly aghast at this nonchalant medical procedure, but once again, my father chuckled and shared his own fond memories of cupping treatments: “My mother used to do the same thing to me whenever I was coming down with a cold. But she would only use three or four special thick-rimmed cups she bought from the drug store or borrowed from the neighbors. After about half an hour, the suction cup treatment was over and we would get rubbed down with alcohol and wrapped up in blankets to sweat out the cold. It worked! Sometimes, they would also take a razor and make small cuts on your back, and then put a suction cup over the cuts to get some of the ‘bad blood’ out.”
Click here to see a video of the cupping procedure in Can Tho.