How not to drink coffee in Bangkok

Caffeine makes the world go round, or at least, it makes the world go round faster and less sleepily. If you’re anything like me, caffeine is an addiction I have happily given in to. I suspect I am now at a point where I no longer drink coffee to stay awake, but to stay alive. Hours spent each week at coffee shops defibrillating my mind, are both a wake-up and an escape. This is the story of how not to do it in Bangkok.
It was 10am and I spotted a sweet little coffee shop on the side of the road, “Coffee Time”, indeed! The lady who ran it was the loveliest person I’d met. As caffeine does, it kick-starts not only the mind but the whole body and therefore I needed the toilet. The language barrier being what it is, I set off with the instructions “back door, then right”. What I ended up doing was unknowingly breaking-in to the neighbours house. The only clue to my sudden criminal activity was a thought to myself that this toilet was not in a convenient, accessible location. Indeed!
Down a corridor I found the bathroom, turned the light on, locked the door and set about my business. Within 30 seconds some “Rude customer” turned the bathroom lights off. I reacted by loudly banging on the door and yelling. All I got back was a brief silence followed by a female voice screaming at the top of her voice. We had a situation! I presume she was just going about her morning routine, saw she had accidently left the bathroom light on and made an effort to conserve precious electricity. She did not expect me, nor anyone for that matter.
She started yelling aggressively in Thai while both banging on the door and trying to open it.
In very basic Thai, I angrily replied “I don’t understand”.
Again I was met with silence, following by more screaming. Frantic screaming, more banging, but mostly screaming. What the hell was going on? How badly did this lady need the toilet?
It then all dawned on me in sudden hilarity when I recognised bits of her yelling, “White man” “Shitting in my Toilet” “Where are you from” “White man, shitting in my toilet!”
At this point the lady from the coffee shop came running in explaining the situation, in what I can only imagine must have gone along the lines of “So sorry, this is my white man shitting in your toilet”. Like I am some toddler in a playground, “I turned my back for one second and he just poops anywhere, I’m so sorry”.
To add to the confusion, when we got back to the coffee shop, I asked the heroic lady for her name, which was “Me”! That was 2 minutes of my life I don’t want back. We are now good friends and I receive the best service in Bangkok, I mean which other coffee shop gives you a personal escort to the bathroom?

Dustin Moore
Resident Comedian, The Comedy House Bangkok

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