So, my mind was a bit fried last night. Traveling around the world will do that to you. Anyway, the cab ride was 500 baht… about $18, I think. (One baht is about 3 cents.) Now, and here’s the thing, all of the Thai currency — or, at least, all of the Thai currency I have — is in paper form. So, you have a 20-baht bill, you might be inclined to think that’s worth something.
Ok, so the cab ride was 500 baht. I gave him a 100-baht tip. I figure, 20 percent.
I check into the hotel and porter brings up my bag. He gets to the room and I rummage through my wad of bahts and hand him a 20-baht bill. He thanks me and leaves.
I’m starving, so I call down to room service and order some pad thai. Then it occurs to me, how much did I tip that porter? Shit, it’s like 60 cents! Sigh.
Shortly thereafter, room service arrives. I tip the guy 100 baht. It’s a guilt-tip. I even think, can I give this guy another 50 baht and have him give it to the porter? I start to ask, but it’s clear the guy has no clue what I’m saying. In an effort to avoid a Curb Your Enthusiasm debacle, I just thank him and he leaves.
Quickly, I turn to Twitter and ask for help. Am I tipping too much? Too little? Within seconds, friends and strangers reply with the answer. The 20-baht tip was a bit low, the 100-baht tip was a bit high. The cabby probably didn’t expect a tip.
Ok, so I’m learning. This morning I leave 40 baht on the breakfast table. It’s probably not necessary, but screw it. I’m tipping and I’m erring on the side of too much.
By the way, the gallery of meals continues to grow: