There’s no reason that by now I should be surprised by the sheer stupidity and duplicity of the local population here in Phuket.
They are building shophouses a mile a minute here, row after row on every street and a good thing for me.
Once I experience an attempted robbery in a store I never go back and I am running out of stores.
What’s going into all those shop houses? Just the same old, same old, massage parlors, beauty salons, grocery stores and more 7 Eleven stores. I think we have four in Rawai now.
Amazing. Once a store opens and seems to be doing business, other stores of the same type open right next door if possible.
My current grumble is with the pharmacies. I went into one to buy a small bottle of Dewax eardrops.
The proprietor said there was no such thing in Thailand and I should buy some alcohol from him – just as good.
In fact he insisted that I purchase it. In the future I will always bring the empty box or bottle, makes things much easier although I might have thrown it at him at the time. I never go back when something like this happens. I have been frequently visiting a new pharmacy just a block away from me. It’s clean, close and manned by an attractive young Thai lady.
I usually go in once a week and have been for about three months now so I would assume that she would think that I live here but I believe that we are all grouped into one category by them – stupid farangs and we all look alike.
I bought some Asprins, an entire small box for 229 baht. Okay, I pulled out two one hundred baht bills and a paper twenty.
I carry a shoulder bag, always have, very handy. I keep my eyeglasses, phone, camera and wallet and it's quite convenient.
I just bought a tiny change purse so the coins don’t tumble around and are easy to get to although I chose one much too small.
I held it out to the girl behind the counter and asked her to take out nine baht for me. She pulled out three ten baht coins and a five baht coin for good measure. Put it together with the rest of the money and headed for the cash register.
My own fault. Like offering a Thai guy a drink and handing him the entire bottle.
I called out and asked for my money back and then carefully pulled out the nine baht myself.
Was the shopkeeper embarrassed? Not a bit – all in a day's work to her. Too bad as now I will never go back to that store.
Soon if things keep going this way I will end up buying everything in Lotus.
When I buy gasoline for my car I always get out and check the meter which is almost impossible to see from your seat and I always count the change which half the time is incorrect.
My local grocery store? I watch them ring up every item so I don’t get charged twice for the same thing.
I am not shy about this and even a bit obvious. It’s good for them to know that you are watching them. <Thais make a point of doing this too, so you're not on your own here – Stick>
I used to go to a local bar here near the beach. In fact the last time that I was there I had visited three times in one week.
I was there almost at closing and thought that I would have one last drink. I only had a thousand baht bill which I hate to use at any bar as you never seem to get the proper change but since I was indeed a frequent customer there I was not worried.
And yes, wouldn’t you know they gave me change of a five hundred baht bill. I called it to their attention, not concerned yet.
There were two girls behind the bar and they insisted that I only gave them five hundred. I started to get loud.
I demanded to see the owner or the manager. They had long since gone home.
'You want problem, you can have one,' the girls said and all of a sudden I was surrounded by a half a dozen Thai guys.
I picked up my small amount of change, left and never went back except once to complain to the owner who did not believe me.
I often wonder how many tourists blithely go about their vacations here and are cheated left and right.
Hey, no sense in giving a tourist a fair shake if he is only going to be here for a few weeks. Get as much as you can.
And if they never come back, no worries there are always more to take their place.
I am still amazed when the locals attempt to take advantage of us that have lived here for years but the sad truth is that they just don’t care and if you don’t like it – go home farang.
And many farangs are going home. More and more people are getting fed up with rip offs of the type you talk about and I am afraid that Thailand is getting a worse reputation internationally over problems like this. Once known for prostitution, if they are not careful, they will soon have a reputation not dis-similar to that of Nigeria's!