Readers' Submissions

I Went To The Reception

  • Written by Anonymous
  • May 23rd, 2007
  • 4 min read


China Hotel Guide
• Donghu Hotel
• Equatorial Hotel Shanghai
• Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai
• Jin Jiang Hotel Shanghai

I went to the reception the other day and created a sign: "Please make sure the door closes." We have some problems with the building's front door recently, the mechanism does not shut the door right, and every stranger basically can just walk into the building. I told the management 10 times about it and other people from the building complained but nothing happened. The least was to make a note. It was hanging there only 12 hours. Then, the staff took it off. I hoped the door was fixed. But no. They just took the note down. Why?

If you have been living in Thailand for a while, you know why the note came off. They don't want to acknowledge the problem and they don't want to lose face by admitting that their building has a problem. Eventually the door will get fixed. But until then, everything is fine.

I went to a party last week it was quite fun, considering it was a party in an Austrian consultant's office at Silom. There I met a guy who was working for the Belgian Embassy. He told me the following story. A carpenter has built a shelf at his flat, where the guy from the embassy wanted to keep all his crystal glasses, bottles etc. Two weeks after the installation, in the middle of the night, he heard a big bang. The whole shelf came down. The next morning he phoned the carpenter and told him what happened. Already on the phone, the carpenter told the guy from the embassy that he was not the one who installed the shelf. He said, he did not know who installed it, but it was clearly not him, but he would be willing to take a look at the damage. So he came to the embassy guy's flat. The guy working for the Belgian embassy found it so amusing that he showed the carpenter photos how the same carpenter was fixing that same shelf two weeks ago and guess what, the carpenter STILL denied that he was the person in the photo and did not take on any responsibility.

So I was bored and went to the new Central World cinema. Wanted to see "Next" with Nicolas Cage. I first had a quick lunch at the Swiss restaurant Chesa in the seventh floor, and I had ostrich steak, for some unknown reason highly popular in Switzerland, but very enjoyable indeed. I had some German wheat beer with it called Weihenstephaner, probably the oldest brewery in the world, founded in 1040. To cut it short, I was in an excellent mood.

At 2:15pm I went to the cinema and I saw on the notice board that "Next" would be shown at 2:10pm, but at a first class cinema. So, well I thought, that's great! I can sit in a big chair and if the movie sucks, I can fall asleep. So I went to the first class counter. "This is only for first class" the girl said. Mmmm. Nice opening line I thought. I told her that I was fully aware of that. Then I said that I wanted to have a seat in the movie "Next" which had already started. Well of course the commercials were still running, so no problem. I usually like to enter the cinema after the HM The King's anthem has already played. Well, it's also the Thai commercials or trailers that are shown beforehand. I simply get sick when I hear these weird retarded sounding Thai dubbing voices. So, well back to the fight for a seat in the first class cinema: The ticket seller was still hesitating to print out the ticket. She said: "Are you sure you want to see first class cinema?" I said I was sure. "Sir, but it is 700 baht". Well that was enough. I asked her if I looked like I could not afford 700 baht? I did not look like a tramp. I had proper shoes on, clean jeans, a clean white shirt and a beige fedora hat. Maybe it was the hat? Maybe they thought I was a cowboy or a bank robber? Hats have a strange effect on Thais, since they never wear clothes but always costumes. Anyway, after this straightforward comment, she seemed willing to sell me the ticket. "That would be 700 baht" Ok, so I showed her my American Express card, but she did not like it. Do you have Visa? No, I said, but I have MasterCard. Ok, so she went off with the MasterCard. Time passes. And I see her try it on every machine on the counter. Does not seem to work. Well the card was fine, only their card machines were not connected, broken, who knows. Now five employees were helping her to charge the card. I even saw a guy with a walkie talkie asking for backup. That was the time to pull the plug. "I pay cash" I shouted over to them, but they did not like that very much, because it showed their incapability to charge the card. Well when I entered the cinema, the movie had just started. It was actually a very nice cinema. I was the only person inside it.

Stickman's thoughts:

You have to laugh. That is how I deal with all these sorts of issues. Laugh and make sure my expectations are never too high, even when I am in a flash venue where the prices are on the high side, which admittedly is not very often.