Today, as I left my house to jog along the beach to my morning yoga class, I saw a crumpled up THB20 note lying in the gutter. There was no one around, no obvious owner of the THB20. I don’t suppose the expat residents and well-heeled tourists who live on our road would miss this THB20 at all. But what should I do? I hesitated, picked the note up and had a brilliant idea.
At the bottom of the hill sits the motorbike taxi guy in all weathers. I see him sometimes at 6am, and I see him also at 2am, sitting on the steps of the local mini market waiting patiently for passengers.
I gave him the THB20. He looked at me in surprise as I gestured at the gutter with the note, and then a broad smile spread over his face as he finally comprehended what I was trying to tell him in mime.
THB20 is less than USD1, but here in Phuket, it would buy a big bunch of bananas, and in mango season, 1 kilo of sweet Thai mangoes. The guy was happy.
I continued my jog with a big smile on my face too, feeling all warm inside. And lo behold, less than 50 metres ahead, I saw another THB20 note lying on the pavement! How incredible is that! There were lots of cars and motorbikes going by but no pedestrians. OMG, second THB20 within 10 minutes, less than 200m apart. What’s going on?
I put the note in my pocket and jogged towards the yoga centre, thinking reflectively on who I should give the second THB20 note of the day to.
I sought advice from the bunch of ladies in their 50s whom I do yoga with everyday I when I am in Phuket.
“Hahaha,” one of them cackled loudly and gave me this piece of advice, “Don’t give anyone. Maybe Buddha try to buy you drink, Jacqueline. For you!”