Well – my oh my – great service in Bangkok these days – post the Suvarnabhumi Airport closure – yes it’s now back in service
And guess what is there awaiting the tourist – typical scenario relaxing in the 5 Star plus Sukhumvit hotel in the height of the high season – mid December 2008 – the hotel is 20% occupied, so there is not much going on – zero atmosphere – no one to chat with, the few hotel guests are not mingling
So thought would kill an hour – buy the Newsweek and catch up on the Recession or the Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich - or the Wall Street PONZI scam courtesy of Bernard Madoff – or the British PM visiting Afghanistan, when he should be in UK focusing his work on the collapsing economy
So over we stroll to the book shop to buy the Newsweek – and guess what there it is on the rack with the price clearly marked on the original cover page – 135 Thai Baht – so into the pocket and pass over 200 Thai Baht to the assistant
Right - this is a new paragraph as the purchase unfolds into a bizarre saga – the assistant swishes the bar code reader over the magazine ------- pops the Newsweek into a bag and passes over the bag and 50 Thai Baht. 'Excuse me you gave the wrong change.'
The assistant turns before my eyes into an apprentice vampire – killer look – and out pops a short retort ‘ that is the right price Sir’ and I politely say please look at the cover and we look together and there it is clearly marked
Newsweek - Thailand :- 135THB
Wait 5 minutes and out pops a barcode setter - a guy who sets the price to the bar code on the book shop computer sales system (this dude will have to have 2 honors degrees in social psychology to get this job) ---- bogus degree certificates cost less than 100 THB on Khaosan Road - Bangkok……………….sorry Sir the right price is 150 THB --- TIT This Is Thailand ----- we do not recognize international prices as we are Thai – I reply “ok well that’s fine can I have my money back please? “ – the staff then went into ‘loss of face’ shock syndrome – similar to look one has, when one has been
- ‘ dragged by a ferret pulling your head through a lavatory brush’
– yes that look is perfected throughout Thailand
– aka ‘ loss of face hang dog look’
Another 5 minute wait and I get my 200 THB back!
Oh, well this is only my holiday -----------and as they say in Thailand ‘Mai Pen Rai’ – Never Mind
Anyway another hour of my holiday gone and I never got to read the ‘Newsweek’!
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