Big C (tidubl)

Here’s another one for the topic of “tidubl” (in case you forget, see January 7th, 2006). This time the tidubl comes from the classic Big C, found all over Thailand. Big C is a cross between a Wal-Mart and a Costco but with mostly Asian products. Occasionally I can even find clothes there that fit me, but I seem to be a huge giant here, with big feet. Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent…

Whenever you buy something at Big C, you get a receipt. Kind of crazy, right? Now, if I was in Canada, I’d put the receipt in my wallet and go out the door and head home. However, in case you forgot, I’m not in Canada, I’m in Thailand. So because I’m in Thailand, the next step is to take your receipt and walk over to a particular counter, smile and show them your receipt. And wait.

Sometimes this counter is quite busy but you must not simply stand by and wait until it’s your turn in line – there is no line. You must just shove your receipt out like all the others around you and be persistent. Push that receipt forward until it’s in the hands of one of the employees of Big C, who work at this mysterious counter and wait. Wait for the stamp that will lead you to your reward. If the stamp comes out, you’re in the clear. If they say “may mii” then it’s time for you to take hold of your receipt again and head home. But if your receipt gets stamped, the worker will turn, gaze at the shelves behind her and pick your “prize.” My “prizes” have ranged from an ugly canvas bag, to a can of Pepsi, to a juice box of yoghurt drink, to little plastic containers, to a plate with a dolphin on its face. For a solid 6 weeks last year, each week when I went to Big C after church, my receipt was a winner. A few months later, after a bad losing streak, a kind worker took pity on me and started giving me a can of Pepsi. This happened several times. I can just imagine what she was thinking. “Oh this poor farang. Let me just give her a can of Pepsi.”

Why does Big C give out these prizes? What makes your receipt a winner? I have no idea. I think if you buy particular products, then the manufacturer wants to reward you somehow. I don’t know. I don’t understand it, but I like it.

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