Haggling over a few baht

While in Krabi, we went to an internet cafe that was in the Sand Sea Resort on Railay Beach. The rate was a bit steep, 3 baht/min., but we really needed some information about accommodations and travel for the next day. We were sitting in front of the computer for quite awhile. The connection was horrendously slow and pictures took forever to load. What do you expect when you are in Railay? It is an isolated peninsula and the only way to get there is via a longtail boat or speed boat. Paradise isn’t high tech.
As we went through our different options and making our short list of hotels and resorts for the next night, a couple behind us ended their internet viewing session. They went to the lady at the counter and she told them “36 baht.” Immediately, the woman in the couple began, “I clicked off at exactly 11 minutes.” The two women exchanged a few more words until the lady at the counter finally understood that the couple wanted to be charged for 11 minutes and not 12 minutes. The lady at the counter checked her computer screen and then told the couple “33 baht.”
I felt sorry for the lady at the internet café. The couple was haggling over 3 baht when one night’s accommodation was over 2000 baht and one meal averages around 200-300 baht. How much money had the couple already spent on airfare, ground transportation, food and lodgings? I can understand that a vacation is expensive and everything you do costs money, but why bother over 3 baht (less than 10 cents)? When we finished our internet session, we clicked off our timer, paid our 150 baht without quarrel, and left.

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