I was having lunch with my friend Alan and regaling him with the tales of me trying to dispose my furniture to the people in my local community in Phuket.

Alan then told me this little tale about his friend, who has a small furniture shop on the island.

One day, a vanload of tourists showed up in his shop an hour before closing time. They were from China and spoke almost no English or Thai. However, they were just happy to “browse”. But their browsing included sitting on the beds, taking pillows out of the packaging, opening every drawer, lying on every couch and bored children running around the shop.

But being a polite Thai, this shop owner was courteous throughout though he was biting his tongue the whole time (Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles after all). At closing time, with gritted teeth, he very politely told them that it was time he shut up the shop for the day.

After the large party left, he spent over an hour tidying up the shop.

The next morning, the same vanload of Chinese tourist arrived at his shop as soon as he opened its door. He groaned to himself but welcomed them in. They shook hands with him as if he were their old friend and they…..


…..bought almost every single item in his shop.

“Be nice to everybody, even when they piss you off!” my friend Alan said in an admonishing tone.

Photo on 6-22-18 at 8.54