Vietnamese Millionaire

By Dave Fox
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

There are 16,000 Vietnamese đông to the US dollar, which is one of the more perplexing exchange rates I’ve encountered in my travels. I currently have more than two-million đông in my possession.

The best tourist attraction in Saigon is the streets themselves. Kattina and I spent hours today wandering aimlessly through the chaos. The city is a never-ending symphony of car horns and motorbikes. I won’t write about the joys of crossing the street because every other visitor to Saigon writes about that. Suffice it to say it’s reminiscent of the “Frogger” video game from the 1980s.

Kattina went back to our room after dinner. I stayed out and wandered for a while. Without her, I was approached by several extremely friendly young women who wanted to “have a drink” with me. At one point, I pondered having the following conversation:

Them: Hello! You want to go have a good time?

Me: Sure! How does one-million đông sound?

Them: One million đông? Okay. Let’s go.

Me: Excellent! But you have to pay me first.

(I found a simple “no thanks” to be easier, however, given the language barrier and all.)

Published on Thursday, April 10, 2008

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