all I ever wanted…

about my travelogues, adventures in life, fashion, beauty and the occasional rambling.

How I got cheated again (this time in HCM)

with 3 comments

I am in Ho Chi Minh now, and I just had the most unpleasant experience. Ok, maybe not most (because I have encountered worse in Shenzhen and I had to call the police) but it left a distasteful taste in my mouth nonetheless.

For the past 2 days, I have been reluctant to leave the hotel because I’ve heard that the streets are unsafe. Someone in our condo actually came to HCM before and she had her bag grabbed by a motorcyclist leading to the loss of her passport.

So, I decided to brave the streets today starting at Notre Dame Cathedral and the plan was to head back to the hotel after I have my lunch. It was closed when I reached there at 1230pm, so I just took some photos outside. The post office was nearby so I had a quick look as well. After crossing a few streets and having ate my first bowl of pho (which was delish!), I was feeling rather smug and thought to myself ‘hey this isn’t so bad after all, maybe I can stay longer and explore more!‘.

While I was near the Saigon river, a motorcyclist approached me and asked if I wanted to take his bike and tour the city. I was skeptical, and had no balls to ride so I declined. However, he mentioned a War Museum and I got intrigued and decided to head there because I was feeling a little sore that I couldn’t go Cu Chi tunnel (too far and dangerous for a city lady like me).

Walking there was a long way. Halfway there, a tricycle guy approached me and I actually agreed to take his tricycle! Mind you, it was very hot and I think I am dehydrated so I couldn’t think properly and he seemed so sincere blah blah blah. BUT, I did ask for the price and 50,000 dong seemed reasonable!

(Now that I think of it, 50,000dong is NOT reasonable at all considering that it is a tricycle ride. AND, as you will learn at the end of my very wordy post, the price is far more than 50,000dong).

Off I head to the War Museum! Boy was I excited because I really didn’t expect my trip to be so ‘adventurous’! After all, I had imagined 4 straight days at the hotel chilling. I shall not elaborate much on the War Museum because it is not key to the guy cheating me but of course, photos will be up in future travelogues.

After the War Museum, I requested to go to Notre Dame because I wanted to go in and pray after seeing all the war stories. Here I was thinking, all the Vietnam people seemed so pitiful and my tricycle uncle seemed pretty sincere and hardworking…so my whole prayer was actually about asking God if he could accept people into heaven if they are hardworking even if they don’t know about Him, etc. After all, good people should go to Heaven, no?

Leaving the Notre Dame feeling at peace after a short prayer, we headed to Saigon River which IMHO is the ugliest river I had ever seen. And that marks the end of my trip and the start of my drama with this tricycle uncle.

When it was time for me to pay, he told me it was 900,000dong. I thought I had heard wrongly and asked me to show me the numbers. He took out a leaflet which had 2 prices, one is 250,000dong for one way, and the other is 900,000dong for 1 hour. I did a quick calculation and was about to faint.

‘IS HE MAD? 900,000 DONG IS CLOSE TO $60! I COULD HAVE TAKEN A CAB FOR THE WHOLE MONTH EVERYWHERE IN SAIGON!’

‘OMG IS HE GOING TO ROB ME, OR WORSE, STAB ME IN PUBLIC IF I DON’T PAY?’

I tried to maintain calmness and told him that I don’t have that much money, and I will NOT pay me that insane amount because he didn’t tell me clearly. After haggling for a while, I gave him 400,000dong. And here’s our conversation:

‘if you don’t give me 500,000dong then never mind I work for you for free!’ *waves $$ at me*

‘you are just cheating $$, 400,000dong is already a lot. if you really want me to give you 500,000 I will not.’ *takes MY $$*

After that, I did give him 400,000dong and I quickly hailed a cab. 400,000dong is close to $30 in SG! On the way back, I was so ANGRY at him and at myself! And FYI, my cab ride back (15 minutes) costed me 88,000dong ok! My hotel has a seafood buffet with free flow of wine and beer for 850,000dong++! SEAFOOD WITH ALCOHOL LEH!

I can’t believe I actually thought he was hardworking and sincere and even prayed for them!

It’s as if this is God’s way of giving me a tight slap and telling me ‘ha! now that you have seen their true colors, do you still want them in heaven? now you see why I can’t accept everyone and they must ask for forgiveness from Me themselves and how some people would never attain salvation?’

 

Maybe you might think that I am making a mountain out of a molehill but I strongly condemn cheating in any form wherever you are, and whatever situation you are in.

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Written by whitepaperroses

February 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Posted in musings

Tagged with , , , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Babe!!! We kena before same thing from the taxi driver in HCM too!!!

    Except that the taxi had a tampered meter so it kept jumping like crazy n the taxi driver kept pretending to get lost (and the hotel is in the main city area so there is no way he dunno where)
    Then my hubs got pretty mad and ask (read: screamed) him to stop in the middle of the road – threw him abt S$20 and we both almost jumped out off the taxi!!!!!!
    So scare he take knife or something hahahahaha
    But other than that incident everything was very smooth n fine 🙂
    Dun worry so much – next time take cab ask them for meter… but check if the meter jumping like crazy.. if not can do the James Bond and learn from us.. by jumping outta the cab 🙂

    elaine73

    February 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    • omg I didn’t realize they will tamper with their meter! so far, the many taxi rides I’ve had are normal (thankfully)! going back this evening already, phew~

      whitepaperroses

      February 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM

  2. […]  Read about it here. […]


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