Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm surprised we weren't shanked.

Okay, so here I am on a Wednesday...6 glasses of wine in, and I want to tell you about our first evening here in Nha Trang.
We took an eight hour train ride here from Ho Chi Minh.

Eight Hours.
With this foot next to me.
Yeah. Gross, I know.

I was so. SO. tempted to tell her to take her stinky foot away, but for some reason, I just couldn't.
So I let it sit there and just read my book instead. #weak

Anyway, we finally got to our hotel in Nha Trang and put our luggage in the room.
I was hungry, so we ventured out in search of some food.

That's when I saw this little fake tattoo stand.

They had this giant tarp laid out with all of the tattoo designs and a big sign that looked like this:

Now, just so you remember: 10,000-20,000 basically means: $.50-$1.00.

So I was like, uh Yes, please. Let's get temporary tattoos for less than a dollar in Vietnam.
Because, why wouldn't we?

So The Dizzle took the bait.
We decided on the most ridiculous looking tatts they offered:
A Labrador and Mickey Mouse.

Throughout the entire process of choosing our fake tattoos, there was another couple there from Australia. They kept trying to confirm the price throughout the whole thing, "Okay, 20,000 for both, right? 20,000?" 
But the little Vietnamese guy shadily kept quiet. He never confirmed their price.
The voice in the back of my head was slightly concerned that he wasn't talking, but I figured, oh well, I'm sure it'll be fine.

When all four of our "tatts" were done, we brought out our 20,000 dong each and tried to hand it to them to pay.

They immediately declined.

They then, all of a sudden speaking English, said, "No, you pay 500,000 each."

Which, let me tell you, is more like $25.00.

Wait. Wait. Wait. $25.00 for some TEMPORARY, 30-second paint-job, already smudging, little labrador?!
We thought it should only be $1.00?? Are you effing kidding me?

All four of us immediately protested and told them their sign advertised $.50 to $1.00 for their temporary tattoos!

They then pointed to the sign's "dot dot dot" part:

They said that our tattoos were part of the "extra price" charge and we needed to pay more.
We obviously continued to argue, as we were all lead to believe it should only be 10,000-20,000dong each.

So THEN, there were about 5-6 Vietnamese boys surrounding us, instead of the original two.
They kept repeating, "Money. You pay us! Money!"

That's when I got mad. I mean, seriously? You're going to try and charge us $25.00 for a FAKE, 30-second outline of a DOG, tattoo?? Are you crazy?
So I probably said that out loud to them, amongst a few other choice words.
Like I said, there's a Korean temper in me and I'm not afraid to use it.

And then, one of them tried to reason with me, "I am the boss. This other guy does not speak English. You not understand. You pay more."

So then I told him that it's not MY problem his "employee" doesn't speak English.
He should learn to negotiate PRIOR to business.

They continued to refuse the money we were trying to give them, even going to the extreme of saying, "F*ck you! F*ck you!" to the guys.

The Dizzle, bless his heart, was trying to negotiate and level with them about the misunderstanding, but they didn't seem to understand the English he was speaking and continued to ask for an unreasonable amount.
At this point, my heart was pounding, my hands were shaking. There were several of them to only four of us foreigners. I was honestly thinking some sort of violence was about to happen and was wondering if we should just jump in a cab to escape.

Every time we tried to walk away, they'd run in front of us, start yelling at us, and demand for more money.

We finally decided to just all walk away together in a group and hope they didn't follow.

I don't know if it was because they were half the size of The Dizzle or because we were walking towards a more crowded part of town, but they decided not to follow us.

Let me just say: Lesson Learned.
Always, always negotiate and be clear of the price before continuing with the purchase.
There was a reason why he was so quiet about the price, that shady little fella. There was a reason he was so quick to do the work before confirming how much we should pay him.

Anyway, now I have this Golden Retriever tattoo on my right bicep for the next month to remind me.
{Why did I think that was a good idea, again?}

At least this city is far more aesthetically appealing than Saigon...


P.S. Don't forget to check out this giveaway!

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  1. Oh my goodness! Knowing me, I would have caved and paid that ridiculous $25 dollars haha. I'm weak!

  2. wow I'm getting anxiety about the situation and I wasn't even there!!!! That's crazy!

  3. That is crazy! I'm glad that you didnt have to pay the extra money because that is just ridiculous!

  4. Wow. I have some anxiety for you! It's gorgeous here ;) you look beautiful, dog tat and all! Lol
    Have a great time!
    xoxo- Kaara

  5. Wow, that's too crazy! I can't believe the little 'dot dot dot' scam, that's some terrible business ethics right there! :)


  6. Yikes! They do that crap in Egypt too, though I was never threatened or intimidated, only really annoyed! lol

  7. OMG I think I would have been too freaked out to turn my back on them.

    I would have paid and chalked it up as an expensive life lesson.

    Thank God you had other people around you and there was a crowd to escape to!

    Sheesh- over temporary tattoos! $25?? CRAZYTOWN!

  8. Holy cow!! People are crazy haha so glad you didn't get shanked.

  9. AHHH Glad you guys stayed safe!

  10. That foot! So gross!
    I think I would have been so afraid of being beaten up or worse that I would have just paid and ran away.

  11. You're one brave girl! I don't know what I would have done! I definitely wouldn't have just handed over the money.. but being in a new place and having less people on my side may have made me give in at some point.
    With Luck

  12. arghhhh, I would've peed my pants. xoxo

  13. Good grief, I got all hot and angry just reading this. What an injustice, I'm glad you guys got away. Lol sweet tats.

  14. The best part is VDiggity has that awful Mickey Mouse...go you for talking him into that :)

    ps, I'm happy you're still alive

  15. Wow! That is INSANE! And I'm pretty sure I would have said something to stinky feet over there! lol

  16. Oh my gosh. Seriously, good thing you do have a temper. I would of refused to pay that price too! At least you two have some pretty random tattoos...wouldn't it suck if they weren't temporary?! hehe. I love you for your korean temper, you need that if you are around people who are all about negotiating and raising prices!

    XO, Kelsey

  17. Wow...what a moment. I would have been furious. And the English major in me would be saying, (pitifully, I know...cause this is really not a grammar argument), that an elipsis can never mean what they say it means when you also have a dash in there like that. In other words, if they had put "10,000, 20,000..." it could mean that there was more higher prices for some tattoos (though that would still be extremely deceptive). But when you put "10,000 - 20,000" THATS IT...the dash means that that is THE WHOLE FREAKING RANGE of prices available, and any elipsis to follow only connects it to the rest of the words listed underneath.

    OK, now I will retreat into my grammatical corner and be quiet. I'm actually not a member of the grammar police most times...but when someone uses English wrong, than tries to scam people with their messed up grammar, that pisses me off.

  18. How can the Dizzle be SO CALM?!
    Also, did you know down south in Dalat, there use to be a man with a 200lb tumor?

  19. Haha, I love Gale's comment ^^^ I agree completely!

    I'm a total pushover when it comes to situations like yours. I would have yelled, then freaked out when they came after me, and eventually paid them just to get rid of them. And I probably would have "accidentally" elbowed that stinky foot.

  20. I think you made up for the nasty foot "weakness"...I would have paid and still wouldn't have said anything to stink foot.

  21. What a crazy situation! It's definitely a good idea to sort prices out before you accept anything. I had a similar thing happen to me in a cab in the Philippines. He didn't want to use the meter, but I finally convinced him. When we got tot the destination he kept trying to add "fees" to the price. I gave him what was on the meter and walked away while he was yelling at me!
    And there's no way I could have stood to have that smelly foot by me! I would have pushed it off :) Accidentally....??

  22. UGH!! I feel so bad for you. I hate that kind of situation. But you did great, seriously.

  23. you should have totally sneezed on the foot. she would have moved it then. and i would have gone nuts on those guys. seriously, who charges $25 for a crappy tattoo?! i would have punched someone in the face or nuts. they would have deserved it.

  24. I was a bit scared for your lives there! Glad they didn't follow ya. And why again?? Hehe.

  25. How the hell did I miss this?! I was a bit nervous for you. I can't have you ending up like the chicks in Brokedown Palace over Mickey and a labrador!



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