Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 28 - Last Day in Hue

Sometimes I like filler days where I prepare for transportation to the next destination, sometimes I despise them. For one, it gives me a chance to recuperate and just relax in the city for however long, before the bus/airplane arrives. But at the same time, I am left without a hotel room to shower in after check out.

Today was one of those days, where I had to check out of my room at 12, and wait for the bus to pick me up on my way to Hanoi at 5pm.

I spend the majority of the morning sleeping in (finally!) and catching up on writing post cards for some friends. After checking out, I headed to the post office to deliver the post cards, before hailing a cyclo to take me to the popular street market in Hue called Dong Ba Market. I got into a little trouble with the cyclo driver over the cost of the trip, which was a 5 minute ride across the river on a bridge. I negotiated "10" to the driver, assuming that we were referring to 10,000 Dong (50 cents). I failed to specify that I meant Dong, and when I paid, he demanded 10 DOLLARS!...yep for a 5 minute cyclo ride across the bridge. It was funny trying to reason why him about how outrageous such a price was for such a short distance, but he insisted because it required a lot of energy to drive a cyclo.. BULLSHIT. I argued with him so more about the distance and how I meant 10,000 Dong. Of course, his cyclo-driver friend who was nearby agreed with him on the price. I called my friend Quang who talked with the cyclo driver and was able to lower the price to 30,000, but then I further negotiated it down to 20,000 dong.

I don't know how I feel about these tactics. I know they people are trying to make a living, but I just feel cheated sometimes when they try to scam me for something as outrageous as $10USD. It just angers me... I'm glad I made it out without having to shell out 200,000 dong... ridiculous! And what makes things worse is, even though he is trying to survive in this world, it makes it less likely for me, or any other person to want to hire cyclo drivers again...

After this debacle, I walked around the market to kill some time before being picked up by the bus. Luckily, this bus was of better quality than all the other buses I've taken so far. The back of the bus didn't have a row of 5 beds side-by-side. A perfect situation for the longest bus ride so far in Vietnam...13 hours from Hue to Hanoi.

My awesome $1.50 Hue shirt...after one hand wash.

More Bun Beo

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