Readers' Submissions

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Bank

  • Written by Anonymous
  • October 23rd, 2003
  • 2 min read


Black Pagoda Patpong Bangkok

By NiteOwl



A few years ago, I worked with a guy who had been to Bangkok on business, and had a funny story to relate. Thought I'd share it with you.

This guy was a high paid computer consultant, who had a jewellery business on the side. The jewellery business was something he had done for a few years, and made pretty good money at it. After doing some research, he decided he could go to Bangkok, meet a wholesaler there, and purchase diamonds farther up the line of wholesalers, than he could in the states. He put together a fairly hefty sum of money (around 4-5 million Baht), and contacted a wholesaler in Bangkok, explaining the dates he would be in town, the quantity and quality of stones he wanted to purchase, and etc. He was quite specific about what he wanted to purchase, since he was a gemmologist, and knew his business. The wholesaler assured him they could easily meet his requirements, and they arranged an appointment.

When he got to Bangkok, he wasn't surprised when the wholesaler didn't want him to visit their office. They didn't know him, after all, and maybe he only wanted to case the place. ("Nice place you have here. Mind if I take some snapshots?") So, they told him they would send a boy over with some merchandise, directly to his hotel room. When the boy arrived, he showed my friend the samples they wanted to sell him: a tray full of cheap paste. The crudest kind of fake diamonds. A myopic gemmologist could spot these as fakes, even without a loupe (the eyeglass gemmologists use), in seconds. He just smiled, and waved the boy away, saying he wasn't interested in any of these stones. The boy went back to the office, and in an hour or so, came back with apologies from the management. This time, he had a tray full of good fakes. The kind that are harder to spot. The third trip, he brought real diamonds, but of a quality normally associated with drill bits.

This scenario was played out, over and over, during the day. It took most of the day, but eventually, the boy brought him a tray full of the quality and quantity of stones he had originally requested to purchase. He made his selections, payment was arranged, and he came back to the states. Over the next year, he sold all of the stones for a tidy profit. Now, he was ready to visit Bangkok again, and repeat the transaction. He contacted the same wholesaler, who remembered him, and enthusiastically assured him they would be happy to do business with him again. He explained he wanted to purchase the same quantity and quality of stones as his last visit. He was certain this trip would go smoother, since they had done business before.

So, he got to Bangkok, settled into his hotel room, and contacted the wholesaler, who sent over a boy with a tray full of merchandise for his perusal. A tray full of cheap paste.

They just feel compelled to try and slip something past you. They can't help themselves.

Stickman says:

Yep, they can't help themselves. They try it on all the time. But they're not all like this.