I came to Vietnam for an edge. So whenever I am clearly scammed I can't contain my jubilation. To be fair, at the time, I wasn't as thrilled as I am now. I had my first episode last week. This course is intense when it comes to work-load. So I left the coffee shop at 7am, to make it to my school by 7:05, to finish printing for my 9:00 class. Way too much time, but I had other work to do after I printed. I got into a cab thinking of the listening lesson I was about to teach... and paid no attention to the brand of taxi. Here you should only pick certain taxi companies...to avoid the story I am about to tell. The man started taking a different route. I told him he was wrong, and to turn right at the next street. "No, no, short cut, you relax," was his annoying response. 20 minutes later I was completely lost and hyperventilating. "Too much traffic," the taxi driver said. "You get out here, and walk straight, you school on left, very close." The school was neither close nor on the left. He had dropped me off in the middle of the city, 30 minutes from my school. I wander the street looking for a legitimate taxi, couldn't find one, so I hopped on a motor-bike taxi. This time, I negotiated my fare ahead of time (fool me once...etc). We get no more than 20 yards when the motor bike's back tire blew out. I billy-goated off the bike, luckily unscathed but I can't say the same for the driver. The man was livid with me. I think his gestures implied it was my obesity that ruined his bike. I wanted to to tell him I was just in America for 2 weeks, so a little weight gain was inevitable...but I swear I've been doing Yoga every day to compensate. We argued. I refused to apologize for my love handles and pay for the tire. In order to escape the escalating argument, I simply jumped on the next motor-bike I saw. I didn't negotiate the price...just told him the address and to hurry. We get to the school. I have less than a half an hour to prepare my classroom. Flustered I thrust the usual fare into the motor man's hands. He grabs my wrist. "60,000 dong," he says forcefully. This is more than motor bike's charge for an entire day of tooling around the city. I refuse. He is still grabbing my wrist. All he sees is a dissheveled blond. Here a damsel in distress is meant to be exploited not assisted. This is the first time I have used my Hapkido out of a play fight with Matt. I hoshinsel him...then run away...in heals. Please don't think me naive. I am vigilant, but I slacken in the morning. No one scams before 10:00 am. False.
I was so flustered and pissed by the time I taught my morning class but I couldn't take my aggression out on anyone but the poor man who my listening lesson was about. I was so mean, my teacher asked if I knew the man, whose life we were listening to, personally. So, Jeff Norman...if you are out there.... I'm sorry. I'm sure you're not a Micheal Moor wanna be, I'm sure your mom enjoys you living in her basement and there is nothing wrong with being a paper boy at 43. It could always be worse...you could be a soul sucking taxi driver in Ho Chi Min City. Move over Korean 50 bus drivers...I have a new arch nemesis.