In Thailand there is a smile that specifically expresses “Yes, I know I owe you the money but I don’t have it right now”, and at least 12 others with specific meanings
“This is a Guest Post By Daniel Fraser, Co-Founder of Smiling Albino about Thai Smiles and what they actually mean!
Imagine you have booked a beachfront room at a hotel in Thailand online. You’ve paid in advance and communicated your arrival details, and once you arrive to check-in, you find that the hotel is full.
As compensation, the hotel agrees to book you into another similar hotel nearby. But not on the beach. Even worse, it costs twice as much!
You demand that the hotel cover the difference. After all, it’s their mistake! But the smiling hotel manager, and then the supervisor, simply say that you have to pay the additional cost yourself. You begin to lose your temper. You firmly make your case, but to no avail.
No matter what you say, or how upset you get, or how often you appeal to yet another person higher up the chain of command, the front desk staff simply smile during the entire experience.
Thailand has long been referred to as ‘The Land of Smiles’ by visitors. But many westerners have become perplexed, even infuriated, at Thais’ ability to smile through virtually every situation, however maddening, unusual or inappropriate.”