I just paid the foreigner price! I look at the little shoe repair man on the sidewalk. A complaint comes to my lips…I am a good customer (thanks to Bangkok’s hazardous sidewalks) … I always bring my beaten up high heels to him, not to the other guy who is working closer to my office.
But before I say something, I see the Thai lady waiting for her shoes. The repair man has interrupted his work to get mine, shows me the new heels and timidly asks for his price.
I figure, we both would lose more face than anything else to haggle over 50 baht (1.75 usd). And he probably gains some respect from the Thai customers charging foreigners more for his services. Or maybe I had to pay a “rental fee” because I forgot to pick up my shoes the previous week and he had to haul them around as his “shop” is just a space on the sidewalk where he sets up every day.
Or maybe he just felt like he needed more for his work.
Whatever it is, after an instant, I smile at him because he does great work, he is always friendly and delivers on time. And he has to repair a heck of a lot of shoes to feed a family.