14 11 2012

And the moral of the story is: “When it comes to dong, you get what you pay for.”

I recently posted an account of an unfortunate mix up in Vietnam which resulted in me clambering into bed with the wrong wife (along with her husband). The response has been both gratifying and disappointing: gratifying because of the interest this episode aroused (oops – probably a poor choice of verb given the circumstances) but disappointing because my post had absolutely nothing to do with golf which is, after all, supposed to be the focal point of my blog.

Anyway, a natural reaction among my walking colleagues was to ask how the rest of the holiday went and whether I got myself into any other scrapes during our trip. I had to admit that one minor event did come to mind:

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in the habit of having my haircut while on holiday in foreign climes: I’ve had my follicles snipped in countries such as France, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Mexico and Peru, and I was keen to add Vietnam to the list. My chance came as we were walking through a park in the old quarter of Hanoi: I could see a dozen barbers who had set up shop on the sidewalk. Our guide, Thang, had told me that the going rate for a haircut was about 40,000 dong ($2), so when the gentleman I selected asked for 100,000 dong ($5) I shook my head and started to walk away. He immediately followed me and we eventually agreed on 50,000 dong, although I could sense he wasn’t that happy about the deal. I gave him the money and he proceeded to shave right up the back of my head and then hack away at the top in fairly random fashion. Literally five minutes later I was done, leaving a pile of grey hair on the sidewalk and, I’m sure, a barber who was happy to have had the last word in his dealings with such a cheap customer.

I was retelling the story to the walking group in Serious Coffee yesterday and, not surprisingly, they enjoyed my discomfort. John Bucher, as always, had some wisdom to share: “Don’t you know, Davey, that you NEVER pay for a haircut  until it’s finished?” “Yeah,” said everyone else within hearing range, “everyone knows that.” “Yeah,” added one particular member of the group, “you only pay after. It’s just like hookers.”

WELL! There was laughter, followed by a somewhat awkward pause as the person who’d made the comment considered the likelihood of his indiscreet remark being repeated in, say, a golf blog. No need to worry, fellow walker, what happens in the walking group stays in the walking group, right? But I’d like to be a fly on the wall when the wives start asking their hubbies who it was. (And no, Jewie, it wasn’t me. Honest!)

All da best.

Dave B.




6 responses

14 11 2012

Loving these travel tales…keep them coming – doesn’t have to be all golf stories!!

14 11 2012
Bagger Dave

Good point, Ben. Most of my golf tales nowadays are sad indeed, involving loss of self esteem and/or money.

14 11 2012

Great story – you are so cheap with your dong that it is surprising that you got a decent haircut at all. Can’t wait to hear about you saving Tiberio’s life and how you had a skid mark on your face. Signed the other other woman

14 11 2012
Bagger Dave

You never said anything about me being cheap with my dong when I got into the wrong bed, Sandi, but perhaps it’s best to leave things there.
As for me saving Ti’s life…that’s a story for another day, after a few rum and cokes!


15 11 2012
Mike Sutcliffe

So sorry to hear you couldn’t get a decent haircut in Vietnam Dave. All you needed was someone to verify that you had just a little dong ( Julie perhaps ) and the barber would have felt sorry for you and clipped you more. Thank goodness I am in Palm Springs, thus totally innocent of the hooker comment, but I have a pretty good guess who would have made it. Take care Mikey

15 11 2012
Bagger Dave

Hi Mike. I’m not sure that you being in Palm Springs makes you innocent of anything, but we’ll leave you out of the reckoning for the hooker comment. I think you’d actually be surprised to learn the identity of the miscreant…
Your comments re my dong are, of course, below the belt and not worthy of a reply.

Love to Pat.


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