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Our worst day

by - 20 Dez 2009

If we had the chance to travel back in time we would change our routing and skip the day in Ninh Binh. Since that is not possible we will remember this city as the place where we’ve spent our worst day (so far). After a sleepless night in the nightbus that shaked its passengers like cocktail ingredients, we were dropped off at 5am on Highway 1 in the middle of nowhere. The two Vietnamese guys sleeping right next to us were already gone – and so were Friedrich’s flip-flops. What a lovely surprise! We searched the bus again but without a doubt those two guys liked his shoes as much as we did. Well, we can only hope that the 1.60m tall men will walk comfortably with shoes in size number 9.
At the busstop there was already a hotel-owner waiting for new costumers and since his hotel was recommended by our guidebook we agreed to stay in his 8$ loom. He also offered to rent out a bicycle or scooter to explore the surroundings. Feeling still very tired we were happy about Mr. Yims welcoming and helpful nature. Even in our guidebook it said that he was well known for treating his guests like family members. But when we came to the reception desk to rent his scooter his cheerful character changed into that of an anxious and know-it-all grandfather. „Are you sure you want to rent scooter?? Do you know how to drive?? There are big buses everywhere! I better give you bicycle – better for you. I make cheap for you!!“ But as we still were exhausted from the trip we really did not feel like driving all those 40 km by bike. So we insisted in getting the scooter. Mr. Yim was obviously very worried that his precious scooter might be harmed and he made us sign that we will pay for any damages. Later on we observed that he did so with every costumer.
We got on the motorbike to start our tour and pulled in at the next gas station to fill up the tank. When the clerk lifted the seat of the scooter to refill the tank, the seat somehow cracked and fell on the floor. Keeping in mind that we had just signed that paper we checked the attachment and noticed that the seat had been repaired before with a rusty coil. We decided to discuss the matter with Mr Yim later and continued the trip. We went on a boat trip to explore the „overwhelming beauty of the dry halong bay“ as our guidebook said. The 2 hour trip turned out to be quite boring and instead of enjoying a relaxed boat tour we were most of the time distracted by getting rid off all the different boat drivers that wanted to sell their goods to us. When we firmly repeated that we really did not want a new tablecloth, fresh fruit or coca cola they tried to force us to buy at least a drink for our boat driver who pretended to be suddenly extremely exhausted! Back at the pier the boat driver did not feel ashamed to ask for a tip for the wonderful time we had spent with him by pulling fiercely on our shirts. But as we are Germans suddenly we had great difficulty understanding English and rushed off wishing him a very nice day.
Fotographen-Boot Tam Coc
When we came back to the parking spot we noticed that someone had just stolen the mirror of our scooter!! Of course none of the five men sitting close by had seen anything! We drove back to the hotel to inform Mr. Yim about the stolen mirror. What did the guidebook say – he treats you like a family member?! Oh yes, but he treats you more like the irresponsible and naive grandchild that still has to learn a lesson. „Why do you come to me now?? You should have gone to the police but now its too late. Why do you get me into all that trouble??“ – „Well, you are the owner of the scooter and we have a contract with you. Moreover we do not speak Vietnamese to explain all this to the police.“ Not being very helpful he repeated: „I told you to take the bicycle!! Why did you not listen to me!? Bicycle is much better for you, now you see what happened!!“ – „Mr. Yim, the mirror has been STOLEN! This is not a matter of having taken the wrong vehicle. WE did not do anything wrong!“ – „But in the morning I told you bicycle much better for you, bicycle has no mirror that can be stolen. Now you have to pay for everything – bicycle would have been much cheaper for you.“ We agreed to buy a new mirror but kept our mouth shut about the broken seat. Actually we felt like leaving this unlucky place immediately but decided to continue the tour after all. We wasted some more time visiting disappointing sightseeing spots until Friedrich went with Mr. Yim’s son to the garage where they installed a new mirror. Mr. Yim’s son told Friedrich that it costs 4$. Friedrich put the money on the counter, the mechanic took only 3$ and Mr. Yim’s son slipped the remaining dollar in his own pocket – what an ambitious young businessman!
The next morning we could not wait to leave this unpleasant place and took the first bus to Hanoi…


From → Vietnam

2 Kommentare
  1. Could have been worse, right?

    Not being able to sleep is really crappy though.

  2. pffft but what a drama this man made. That’s the worst part.

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