To do that ... I happen to write!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Vietnam Diaries #3: Tipping the Em

At the airport, after having conversed back and forth in English and Vietnamese that I want something vegetarian (or an chay) to eat at the airport cafe; I decided on 2 items each for 27,000 Dong (~ 1.3 USD). I handed her a 100,000 Dong note and she returned 50K. 

However, when I gave her 5,000 dong (i.e. around 25 cents) back she refused to take it. 
Only when I really insisted she took it and thanked me smiling profusely. I was a little confused where all this was going because I was just paying the money for what I had bought and this WAS a fixed priced shop.

Anywho, I left the counter with a Cam On Em (which is how you say thank you to women) and totally caught Cam On Ahn (which is how you say thank you to men!) which she said back to me. Satisfied that my basic Vietnamese is quiet perfect now, I walked away.

Shuffling with the receipt a little later I noticed that the bill was only of 50K and not of 54K as I was thinking! I could not stop laughing thinking what the Em would have thought of me trying to tip 25 cents to her!

I want to go back and explain it to her, but obviously I can’t, and would have to live for a while with this unsettling stupid feeling!


  1. Good one...

  2. 27+27 = 50. A mystery that shall stay unsolved.
    Was this at Ho Chi Minh airport? If so, then you can still try to solve it the next time you are flying. Else, hard luck.