Yeah, this is Thailand

Two reminders within 10 minutes of the culture adjustments one must make not to get worked up while living here means I have a new post.

Combining the drop in tourism since the coup with the usual substantial drop in business during low season, and one would think foreigner oriented businesses would try to hang on to their loyal customers. Not here, surprisingly often. After breakfast yesterday, I walked over to the boss lady (BL) and handed her a 100 baht note for my 99 baht tab. Sitting next to her (they were both attending to a baby) was an older woman I took to be the BL’s mother. BLM said ‘Thank you’ with finality. I didn’t have 10 baht for the tip so I held out (but didn’t give to her) a 20 baht note  and asked if she had ‘small money’ (i.e. change in coins). BLM took the note and said no. I took it back from her, said ‘next time’ to the BL while BLM glared at me. I’ll know from BL’s reception next time if I should even bother sitting down or ever returning.

Next I went to the local branch of Bangkok Hospital to change a follow up appointment from Bangkok to Hua Hin. As usual, the English abilities of those working reception was excellent. Appointment was for Friday, 1 July. No can do because the July doctor schedules are not in the system yet. I asked what about Thursday? Same answer. I asked isn’t Thursday the last day in June? It took a second for her to be embarrassed. Not my intent, but sometimes not taking no for an answer is the best tactic.

 

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