“It had already started when I got to the school this afternoon,” says David Trout. “I didn’t even have time to lock my bike. Just had to run to the bathroom. I’m pretty sure it was that green mango salad. I thought when Bob ordered it that eating under-ripe vegetables with red chili was a bad idea but it was so tangy!”

Saying this, Trout winces and excuses himself. He emerges a few minutes later wiping sweat from his flushed face and continues.

“I had to go during Pre-Intermediate 4 so I grabbed a sheet of paper and told the students I had to dash out and make a few more copies. I think they bought it. Then during Conversation 7 I had to go again to I pretended to see someone out of the window and waved to them. The students might have been a bit annoyed if they thought I was running out to chat to someone but at least I didn’t have to tell them I’ve got diarrhoea.”

Anong Changkratok, 48, was approached for comment as she backed her motorbike out of the parking row and into the rain. “New guy? David? He’s got the shits I reckon,” she said, unfolding her poncho as thunder boomed overhead. “He’ll want a good strong cup of tea and a digestive biscuit if you ask me.”

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