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I awoke to a rooster’s call. It was 6:00 a.m. and muggy, but the air was cool. I had been sleeping on a mat on the floor under mosquito netting. I had one of those “Where am I?” moments.

Then I remembered, we had stayed with a family the night before on a rubber tree farm in Southern Thailand. Yesterday, the father walked us around the neighborhood and showed us the rubber trees. Then, the mother cooked us an amazing dinner with curry, sweet and sour chicken, vegetables in oyster sauce and tom yum soup. The youngest son did what children in any culture seem to do: he showed us his toys and assessed our potential as characters in his imaginary world.

What a fantastic experience. As I awoke to the sound of the rooster, I remembered the family was Muslim, and out of respect, I put a shaw around my shoulders before starting my quest for a morning cup of coffee.

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