Besides the paperwork and passport photos i had prepared, Vietnamese Immigration also wants $25 USD. I don’t have it.
The price of the various visas are posted on the wall, all in US dollars. Now that is just a bit strange. I mean, I was under the impression that Vietnam fought a war to remove US influence? Vietnamese currency is “dong” but I don’t have any of those either.
I ask if they take a credit card? No.
I ask if they have an ATM? No.
They ask if I’m an idiot for traveling to a foreign country without any money. Okay, they didn’t actually use those words, but the look pretty much spelled it out.
I tell them I have Thai Baht and they say okay. After some fidgeting around they say 1300 baht will prevent me from being deported. Now, that is a fair bit more than $25 USD, closer to $40, but I’m in no position to negotiate.
I say okay and give her 1500. She indicates that I’m good to go, but c’mon, you’re already overcharging me, and I’m going through the motions of pretending not to know, how about at least giving me some change? I loiter with that expectation and eventually she coughs up a 10,000 dong note. Sounds impressive but in reality its not even 50 cents. Commie bitch.
Once again I’m in no position to argue with the oppressive state. Take my licking and hit the street. Manage to find a money changer, and become a Vietnamese millionaire, withdrawing a cool 2,000,000 dong, so just let it be said, I’ve got a lot of dong. Lol.
Taxi ride into town only costs me 45,000 dong (or about $2). Hey, a little dong goes a long way.