There is a store here called Robinson's. In Thai speak it would be called Hi-So for high society! We wanted to see what they had to offer and found some small sofa pillows on sale for $3.00 instead of $15.00. The first time we went I only bought one and decided to go back for several more......Yes, the "On Sale" gene is in my DNA and I can't pass up a good deal.
On our way out toward the inside of the mall a man dressed in a suit with a walkie talkie radio literally ran over smiling and grabbed our bags. He started walking so we followed. I whispered to Vince, “What is he doing?” Vince shrugged his shoulders. The man said something into the radio and we kept walking....really fast. I looked at Vince and whispered again, “Where are we going?” Of course he didn't know, but I wanted to be reassured that we were not going to end up in jail for something we didn't even know we did.
I stopped and asked the man, “Where we go?” He didn't understand. We had completed our first language lesson just an hour prior and I saw a light bulb come on above Vince's head and heard him say to the man. “Hiu” (Hungry). The man smiled and pointed to the escalator going down. The man was a gentleman and motioned me to go first. When we arrive at the bottom he smiled, handed us our bags, put his hands together for a wai and went back the way he came.
I asked Vince, “What the hell was that all about?” He smiled and said, “Customer service!”
I would like to say we are not troublemakers and have never been involved with the police. It is just the culture of the US that you are guilty first and foremost. And customer service at that level is nearly extinct.
Our ingrained reactions from living in the US:
Someone in authority took our bags and said, “Come with me!”
We immediately felt guilty and thought we were in trouble.
Confusion and more confusion at not being able to decipher what was happening.
Rapid heartbeat and worry.
He was carrying our bags to wherever we were going.
He offered a woman to be first on the escalator.
He smiled and said good bye in the most respectful way possible.
Ah.......Differences are awesome sometimes.