Continued from Saigon Day 1.
Woke up at around 7:30am. Without a window to the room, there was no sun to give us a hint of time.
I think we are liking it here, better than our time in Cambodia. I just never felt I was able to relax in Cambodia. Maybe because in the back of my mind, I knew if I got really sick, I would probably get shitty medical care there.
We are up somewhere on the 47th or 49th floor. Something like that. This is looking towards the direction of our hotel, it’s located to the left of that green park. Ugh, that’s a long walk back in the heat.
We came back to our hotel room after our late lunch to stay away from the afternoon heat. There isn’t really too much to do over here in Saigon. Then we started digging deeper, and found that there’s a small swing dance scene here. Ohhh, gotta give that a try.
The swing dance location is kind of far. We finally got into a taxi to take us to the restaurant that hosts the swing dancers. Taxis in Saigon have a really bad reputation of ripping people off, but not this cabbie. We paid $2 to go by the meter, which is exactly what our front desk said we should expect to pay.
The dance scene was pretty small. Only about maybe 10 people showed up. But, it was great to be able to dance, and to dance half way around the world! We also talked to one of the dance organizers(my dance partner in the photo above), and she gave us a link to many of the restaurants to try here in Saigon. Sweet!
After dancing, we got into a taxi to take us back to our hotel. Right when we got into the taxi, I took a photo, to which the taxi driver said, “No photos.” That was strange. Then when we tracked his route on our GPS(we do this for all taxi rides), he was taking the long way. Then the final straw was we noticed the meter running up about 3 times faster than our other taxi. Fuck, we’ve been had. We got into one of those taxis with a doctored meter. Asshole!!!
By this time, RL had blown a fuse and we demanded the asshole driver to drop us off immediate at the curb. We told him that he was over charging us and that his meter is wrong. We only paid $2 for the ride here, and he’s already run up $2, and we’ve only traveled a third of the distance. Then we realized that he is not the same person as the photo in the taxi license on the dash! He’s about 50 pounds lighter than the person in the photo!!
I wanted to just pay him the 39,000 dong that it says on the scam meter, and cut our losses. Well, I hand the taxi driver a 200,000 dong bill to get change. Then he tries to pretend the meter states 390,000 and not 39,000. Motherfucker, now we are all yelling inside the taxi. RL is seeing red mist. She’s yelling at him and calling him a thief. This whole time, our taxi driver acts exasperated, and that he doesn’t understand what we are saying, etc. Asshole. Eventually he gives in and gives me back 160,000 in change, to which I demand the last 1000(it’s like a nickle). He says he doesn’t have change, then I get into it with him on principle(In retrospect, probably should have just listened to RL and walked out without paying). This whole time, RL was livid and yelled at him nonstop!!(Yeah, you go wife!) Finally, we settled on 35,000 dong, so, about $1.66 for the taxi ride, that really didn’t get us any closer to home.
I expected to be cheated like this in Asia from time to time, so I was only moderately irate. RL on the other hand was all up in arms. She was so angry that the only way to calm down was to walk all the way home. So, we walked 20 minutes home, in anger. We had to carry back a just bought 5 L jug of water as well. Sigh.
Saigon, we almost had a completely great day today. Too bad we ended on such a sour note due to one of your cheating asshole taxi drivers.
To be continued at Saigon Day 3.