Winner gesture, at Apricot Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam
What welcomed me first in Hanoi, Vietnam is a big fight on the street with a taxi driver.
The long-distance bus from China Nanning city to Hanoi dropped us off at a sketchy location which is only 2.8km far away from my Apricot Hotel. I was really gonna walk all the way to there with my backpack but the passengers I met on the bus recommended me to take a local taxi for two reasons. First of all it is 39 degrees outside. Second, I have bloody blisters. I was really hesitant but they said:” Vietnamese are nice people. They aren’t like Chinese who would rip you off in general.”
So I took a taxi. When I asked how much it would cost, the taxi driver said “by the meters”. On the way I was trying to talk to him in English, Chinese and Vietnamese (with my dictionary) to relax the vibe. But he doesn’t seem to understand any. He made a phone call to his boss who speaks Chinese. He passed me the phone and the guy on the other side asked if I need to book a hotel. I said no.
When I arrived at the hotel, he pointed to the monitor which says “930”. I thought i need to pay 93000 Vietnamese currency (Dong is the currency unit) but he said “NO NO NO.” and he took out his phone and typed 930000. At instant I got offended and I knew this was way off. I checked the net before, Uber would cost less than 20000 Dong and the people I met on the bus told me it won’t cost more than 50000 Dong.
It will be nothing close to 930000 Dong.
▴ Left: What he wants. Right: What he really deserves.
He won’t let me get off and started calling his boss. I was super angry talking to his boss on the phone and said if this is the case than call the police. The boss said “Ok. I will let him drive you to the police station”. I passed the phone to the taxi driver and right away got off the car, ran to the rear seat to get my big 90L backpack. The taxi driver was angry all the time and tried to grab me. I quickly got all my stuff and ran to the street and started fighting verbally in English and Chinese. Face to face, eye to eye. He was mad and same as me. I was not scared at all. I was just so …how to say… because I knew this gonna happen and it happened and it approved again, the insanity of humanity.
There was an elder guy nearby. I raised up my hand to show a hint for him to come over to protect me. At the same time I told the taxi driver I would only pay you 50000 Dong which you should get. It will not be the ridiculous 930000 Dong. And I yelled loudly “Don’t Touch Me” on the street to grab attention. (My another strategy to protect myself is to cry loudly and vividly, girl’s weapon. Luckily no need for it this time). He still didn’t let me go but I didn’t give up either. The fight last for over ten minutes until he backed off. The elder on my side surely knows what’s going on. He gave the taxi driver a “let-her-go, you’ve-got-enough” face while the taxi driver was swearing at me. I was swearing at him too, bilingually. hahahahah
Anyway, my trip is always dramatic. Don’t lose hope on humanity. There are good people out there, all the time.
YABU IS HERE!!!
Two weeks later we are here together!!! Miss Daisen and Japan so so so so so much!!! Want to go back!!!
Today’s travelling tips
“Avoid arguments with locals”, if they are being reasonable.