She was clearly puzzled, trying to make sense of what I’d just done. I said a 2 word phrase in English but it didn’t help. Then I tried a single English work. Bingo. Her face lit up with a big, genuine smile and an equally genuine ‘thank you’ in Thai. The word I’d said was ‘tip’. What puzzled her was my putting down a 100 b note and a 5 b coin on a 95 b check. In HH, usually when a server acknowledges a tip it’s with all the sincerity of going through the motions.
That gratitude affects my soul. The other food service difference affects my body. Many places in HH give a customer poorer service and smaller portions when he returns for a second or third time. Don’t know if they don’t want Farang customers or are just probing for how poorly they can treat you before you don’t come back. Return to a place in Chiang Mai and their behavior is what I’d expect from a company that has both tourist and local resident customers. Second and subsequent times my portions, service and server smiles were all noticeably larger than the first visit.