Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Pho Bo and Being Ripped Off

I walked home last night, something I have been doing a lot recently. It only takes about 40 minutes and I usually stop for dinner on the way.

Last night I stopped for Pho Bo (pronounced fer bor). Pho is one of Northern Vietnam's staple foods, made of (long and slowly cooked) broth, white noodles, some veg and uncooked beef (in the case of Pho Bo) cooked chicken if its Pho Ga. The Pho was delicious and was the first I had had for several weeks.

But as is so often the case in Vietnam if people think they can rip you off they will. When it came time to pay the friendly woman who had very good English said 50,000 Dong! (about $3) I said "What!?" Pho is normally about 10 or 15,000 max. She insisted that 50,000 was the price she wanted and I insisted I wasn't going to pay that much for Pho, for a few minutes. I told her I had been in Vietnam six months and knew the price of Pho, I worked close by and might be coming by regularly, but she still insisted she wanted 50,000. Then suddenly she proclaimed 10,000 Dong! I said no have 20,000 but she wouldnt take it.. lol So she made me feel guilty for her trying to rip me off.

I love Vietnam. I know a lot of it is my lack of Vietnamese. They think I'm a mug tourist and see a chance to make a couple of dollars. I havent touched my Learn Vietnamese books since I got back from Laos. But I really must get back to them...

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