He didn’t get rich, but a waiter from Burma can at least rest easy knowing he did the honest thing when he returned a bag containing one million baht (US$33,000) to customers at his Chiang Mai restaurant.
La Namu, nicknamed Sairin by his Thai co-workers, was clearing a table at Phet Doi Ngam restaurant in Muang district on Tuesday when he found a brown leather bag left by an elderly Thai couple, Khao Sod Online reported on Wednesday.
La Namu said he grabbed the bag and tried to run after the couple’s car to alert them, but failed to catch up. He said he didn’t open the bag, but believed it must have contained money and valuables, as it was quite heavy.
The waiter then gave the bag to restaurant owner Kaesarapan Petchsri, who opened it to search for the owner’s contact information. But all she found were stacks of banknotes worth more than one million baht.
Kaesarapan said the couple returned to the restaurant shortly after, looking panicked. But they were very happy after getting their money back.
The customers counted the cash and agreed it was all there. They then gave the young waiter a wai [a traditional Thai greeting] to thank him for his honesty.
In gratitude for returning much more than what many Burmese nationals can hope to earn in about five years, the wealthy couple gave him 1,000 baht, or one-tenth of 1 percent of the sum returned.
Kaesarapan said the couple thanked the restaurant and rushed out, leaving her no time to ask for their names. They only told her they were businesspeople from Bangkok.
This article was originally published in the Bangkok Post on 24 September 2014.