Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Horrors in Ho Chi Minh City for “Yellow Hair”

Took a flight from DaNang – HCMC. Just didn’t want to deal with another train ride.

Other than the unnecessary hassle from the airline RE: the size of my carry on photo case, the flight was straight forward. Now the taxi at the airport to the Mien Tay (southbound) Bus Station in HCMC was quite another mater.

They call me “Yellow Hair”, they don’t know the word for light brown. Clearly a tourist. At the Taxi Stand, we agreed that a meter would be used. I get in and the meter is not set. I keep saying meter, meter, but the driver who does not speak English ignores me. I keep repeating this getting more and more adamant each time. Finally he puts me on the cell with his English speaking boss, who gives me a $20 USD quote. No I reply, his response, $15 USD and laughs at me. NO the meter I insist. He hangs up on me and we continue to drive through thick traffic. “You start the meter or I will call the police”-no doubt wasted on this non-English speaking fellow or probably any other driver in this entire country. My next move; I climb over the seat and start pressing the buttons on the meter to activate it. He finally gets the message. The driver turns on the meter. What a frigging horror show – who needs this.

My total for the meter was 133,000D= $7.19.

More to come soon,
Lorrie Dallek