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Why when a Thai tells you ‘Up to you’ it’s anything but


Why when a Thai tells you ‘Up to you’ it’s anything but

If you have ever had the chance to sit in a beer bar and get into a conversation with a bar girl. Once you have got past the formality of routine questions you receive – ‘where you come from’ and ‘what your name’ – it is very likely you will hear those three immortal words – ‘Up to you’ at some point in the conversation. The question warranting such an answer could be as innocent as ‘what do you want to drink?’ or ‘do you want to play pool?’.

It is certainly not only in a bar you may hear this phrase too. Whilst moving from location to location in Bangkok, I will jump from all kind of modes of public transport such as the BTS train, taxi car to taxi bike. It is very tiring during a hot day and drains you.

So when I hail a taxi car over and tell him where I want to go, quite often he doesn’t want to turn the meter on (more so at night). So I will ask “How much then?” to which he replies “Up to you”.

Really, I think, do I have to play this game now?!

Well if it was up to me he would “turn the meter on” so it is anything other than “up to me”. So I reply with my opening shot, “100 baht”. To which fairly predictably retorts back, “Oh no, no, no, No can mister. 500 baht”. He then angrily drives off when I disagree.


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