the motorcy incident is behind us and i’m pretty certain that c16 was not at fault – but this cultural transaction still cost us 4ooo฿ ($124.00). we might have been able to put up a fight and pay less. we could have argued that the guy was putting on an act and his injuries were not as bad as he was making them out to be. we could have pointed out that what he said was the estimate for repairs to his motorcy seemed to be double what it should have been. and since we were reimbursing him for time missed from work we could have said we’d only pay for the 2 days the doctor excused and not the five days he was certain he needed. and we would have been right. but in order to do that we would have been saying we didn’t believe him. that we thought he was lying. which would have caused him to lose face. and in so many dealings with thai the right outcome is the outcome that helps save face. or at least causes the least loss of face.
part of me thinks that his guy wasn’t so worried with saving face. that the saving face thing was convenient because he knew it would be difficult for us to put up too much of an argument. and i don’t like that. i don’t like feeling like i’ve gotten the short end of the stick.
but there’s more to it than just money and the hurt feelings. the big picture includes the entire neighborhood. the guy works just around the corner from us. the entire neighborhood knew what had happened and who was invovled within seconds of the incident. and the entire neighborhood was watching to see how it would turn out. everyone had an opinion of how it happened and who was at fault. and i think when it comes down to a he said/he said involving a thai security guard and a farang teen it’s not too difficult to reach a conclusion that does not favor c16. so, to keep the peace we paid. and then explained to c16 that we did believe him even though our actions made it appear that we didn’t.
i don’t know if we did he right thing. there probably was a better way to handle it, but we did the best we could and now we have another story to add to our time in thailand tale.