Saturday, March 5, 2011

Never lose your wits...

So we made it 34 days and today was the first time someone tried to scam us. Thankfully between living in Los Angeles, Detroit and Boston we trust no one.... We learned in Central America how to handle the taxi drivers, first ask how much (even if there is a meter) usually there they did not have meters. Next one person (usually the man) gets in the passenger seat and the other sits behind the driver. This intimidates them and let's them know you are not a first timer. Also in case he does go off the grid this way the passenger can stop the car and the person behind can grab the driver, very Jason Bourne like.
At the beginning you are totally on guard, but after 34 days you start to get into a groove. First thing we should have noticed was the cab company was not a name we have seen. The colors were the same as the one we have used throughout Viet Nam so we did not think twice. We got in saw a meter that started and told him where to go. About halfway we noticed the meter jumping significantly, then I noticed we did not have a picture ID anywhere in the taxi. Luckily we knew what it sould cost since this was our taxi ride back. We politely pointed out the that meter was wrong, he just played dumb and kept driving. Then we told him to stop, we knew we were close and could figure out the way. Also it was the town circle, lots of people were around. He then argued with us about the fare 397,000 dong (almost $20) we paid 28,000 dong ($2.50) to get there. We firmly told him the meter was wrong, he said he would the police. When he realized we had no argument with that, he took the 30 dong and got the hell out of there!

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