I went for my usual walk today but took a different route. After about 30 minutes I passed the HCMC (Ho Chi Min City) stock exchange. After about 45 more minutes it started to rain lightly. An hour and a half after I passed the stock exchange I passed it again.
I started my military career as an infantryman and map reading was a very important topic. They stressed taking a compass reading, pick a point on that line and put the compass in your pocket and go to that point. Repeat. Do not just follow the compass needle as it will always point north, even as you walk an arc. Mythbusters did a great show on the same concept and being fully aware of the issue neither Jamie or Adam could avoid the curve off course. The problem here was I wasn’t shooting a bearing, my map was missing many streets and half the time I simply couldn’t even find where I was on the map.
So what did I do, I hailed a cab! He brought me back to the vicinity of the market but would not take me further, he just waved his arm and then motioned me out of the cab. It was not expensive but I had to walk another 10 blocks in the rain. Quite an experience. I had a map with the hotel marked on it and the hotels address highlighted, which I gave to the driver, but the language barrier is formidable.
The money situation with the dong at 2,250,000 to $100.00 (a hundred US dollars) is impossible. It is compounded by some people dropping off the the last three zeros half the time, while others don’t, and of course they always round up. If the person looks OK such as the circle K clerks, I just hold out my wallet and tell them to take what it is, they then show me what they took and usually give me change – and always a receipt. I don’t think I have been cheated since when I get back to the room and can do the math in peace it always works out.
Tomorrow I am going on a guided city tour, prepaid and including lunch. No money to deal with!