I had chosen a less than favourable spot on the bus to Halong Bay. Directly behind a snobby looking American man who had interestingly favoured a long-sleeved shirt and trousers in the 100 degree heat. A loud and arrogant attitude with the voice to match, I could hear him moaning about the ‘incredibly busy’ vehicle to a man on the neighbouring seats. This immediately confused me. There was only one person to every available seat. How was that ‘incredibly busy?’ Had this guy not seen three or four people squeezed onto one seat on the local buses? Not to mention the planks of wood that would randomly pop up and fit into the aisle to create extra seating?!
“Excuse me! Excuse Me!” he bellowed harshly, clicking his fingers in the air.
The tiny Vietnamese tour guide scurried down aisle with a concerned look on his face:
“Yes Sir…what seems to be the matter Sir?”
“WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE MATTER?! This is hardly the luxury trip I paid for! I was promised a private transfer” he huffed indignantly, wrinkling his nose as he studied the rest of us inferior lot he’d been forced to breathe the same air as.
The little man wiped away a bead of sweat that was forming on his forehead.
“I PAID FOR A LUXURY TRIP! I was promised a SEAFOOD LUNCH!”
The tour guide gulped loudly.
“Nnn nn no sir…….you will be having prawns and urrm… fish for your lunch…. on the boat”
“But I was promised a Seafood Lunch!”
“No Sir…..you….you….you will be having a fish….and a prawns…on the boat….for the lunch”
“I have PAID for a SEAFOOD LUNCH!!”
“Fish, prawns, and the salad…..on the boat”
“But I was TOLD it would be a SEAFOOD LUNCH!! I want to speak to your manager immediately”
At this point, the following thoughts swam lazily through my mind.
- Fish sounds suspiciously like seafood to me.
- Prawns sound suspiciously like seafood to me.
- How many more times can this guy possibly say the words ‘seafood lunch’ without me cracking up laughing or punching him in the back of the head?
To those ‘elite’ few who believe they are rightly entitled to special treatment just because they flash around a bit of cash…. GET A GRIP! Yea you are likely to be ripped off. You are likely to be expected to pay double the amount anyone else does. But you know what? You can probably afford to. Be a little more streetwise if it bothers you that much. Do your research! Listen carefully when people read out the lunch menu! And for God’s sake, stop complaining when directly outside your window is one of the most beautiful places on Earth!