It was food.
Not just good, brilliant.
She hadn’t eaten a Som Tam ever in her life. That’s mainly because she was vegetarian and didn’t think she would like the smell of fish oils. But then she gathered the courage and ordered it—a raw papaya salad with tofu. It was spicy, saucy, serendipitous. Finding this was like finding gold, the land of seafood. The meal was great but it was time to show it some appreciation. The bill arrived, and she wanted to tip the chef a little extra for making her day. She reached for her purse to remove those Thai Bahts. Nothing. She dug deeper into her purse, scrambling to see where the money was. Emptying it on the table, she looked down at the rubbish that tumbled out. But the money…
Well, it was gone.
Disappeared into thin air!
She panicked, palpitated and almost puked. That brilliance of the Som Tam was leaving behind a sour taste.
The waiter came.
That he didn’t understand English just added to the drama.
After an awfully comical attempt at miming and indulging in some ridiculous sign language, the man understood that she had no money to give.
The waiter considered the situation for a minute.
Removed a few Thai Bahts from his pocket and took the bill to the manager.
She got up to make sense of the situation, but he had already paid.
As she passed him he said “Thank you for tip.” and broke into a toothy smile.
The sour aftertaste of her gut had vanished.
She left, feeling like the world was after all a good place. But she decided to come back that evening. To pay back her debts, and of course treat herself to yet another Som Tam. This time, the tip would be twice as heartfelt with a dash of goodwill.