I have recently been given the job of updating our office decorations. This includes framing new photos–eight of which are Stephen’s–and creating five collages of our different departments. I have been busy running around town to order photos and frames; and on Saturday I ordered five frames from a little shop downtown.
I went back today to pick these five frames up. I went to pay the sweet man, and he tried to refuse, implying that I had paid on Saturday. I had a receipt for the amount it would be, but I was certain I hadn’t paid. I really didn’t want to take anything from this sweet little shop owner, so I insisted to pay him. We spoke back and forth a few times, and in the end he took the money from me–1675 baht or $53, in fact.
I returned to the office and began to look over the advance I had taken out and the receipts I had to account for it. I came up exactly 1675 baht short.
Coincidence? Probably not.
I went down to speak with our office manager and asked her to look at the receipt. Our conversation went like this:
“It says you paid 1675 baht on Saturday for them. Did you go pick them up today?”
“Yes. But I paid today.”
“You paid again today? You pay twice? Oh. That’s not good. You have to go back to tell him.”
We then reviewed my Thai apology and she told me how to tell him I had forgotten. As I pulled up outside, I held up my polite wai and apologized. He didn’t even flinch. He pulled the money–already counted out–from his pocket and handed it to me, chuckling.
I was so embarrassed. I’m not sure if I should never go there again or keep going to give them more business! I did have a good story for my Karen lesson and managed to communicate it all to my teacher, who thought it was hilarious, until she found out it was $53!