Eating Sugar Essay

1577 Words Sep 14th, 2010 7 Pages
Eating Sugar

Hosts and tourists often have a certain distrust of each other. This is because the two parties often don’t actually spend time together. The relationship between the two is often brief and instead of looking at each encounter with a native or a tourist individually, it is very easy to sum it up as an “encounter with the other”. We all tend to create “others”, when we meet walls of difference, built by race, culture, and language. This view on tourism by William Cannon Hunter is also apparent in the short story “Eating Sugar” by Catherine Merriman, where the meeting of two different cultures creates precisely this “us versus them relationship”.

The story takes place in a rainforest in Thailand where an English
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Her parents on the other hand, in particular Alex, look at the men as a threat and as potential bad news: “Alex was aware again of his heart thumping. There were four of them, and only himself,…” Page 3, line 71-72. This quote implies that Alex feels protective of his family, but at the same time helpless. This perhaps doesn’t only apply in this certain situation, but in general in Thailand, which must make him feel very uneasy and insecure.

The atmosphere is quite tense and Eileen starts pacing around at one point. This restlessness reminds Alex of one time when he and Eileen had taken LSD. At one point back then, Eileen was having a couple of highly paranoid minutes, which isn’t uncommon for the drug LSD. To escape her bad trip she started pouring sugar into her mouth, as this supposedly brought you back to reality. Thereafter, Alex draws a parallel to the experience they had with drugs to the experience they’re now having in a different culture. Thailand is “The Land of Smiles” but also a country full of pirates and bandits, exactly like LSD. You can be lucky and have a good trip where the entire world changes to a psychedelic dream or have an anxious nightmare. The important point in Alex’ thoughts is that even though Eileen had had a couple of bad minutes, it passed after she had eaten the sugar and the high had turned into something fantastic. This is why I

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