Low finance II

Following up on the recent ‘low finance‘ adventures, more fun and games with gold dealers taught me two things.

Both have to do with the patience or otherwise of natives of North Nha Trang. First, they don’t stand for any nonsense, and second, they ( mostly ) don’t stand for any Russians.

The place is crawling with Russians. This partly because the Russkis had a military presence in Cam Ranh Bay , about 20 km south of Nha Trang, from 1979 til 2002. And, the Vietnamese continue to hire Russian consultants to direct the construction of ship-repair facilities.

On the ‘ground’ level, it’s most apparent in two things – 1) the Northern beaches are full of Russians, easily pegged by their excess flab and audio volume, and 2) business signs in Russian.

But while here they may be,  liked they maybe not.

A case in point – I went to a gold dealer recently, and asked for a price for a conversion USD -> VND.

I didn’t like the offer, so went down the road, to another Vietnamese gold dealer, where the offer was .. .worse!

When I trudged BACK to the first gold dealer, waving my USD$100 bill, I got the Royal Vietnamese Wave. It’s like the Royal English wave, except here it means piss off Noddy please go away.

When he wasn’t sure the message was received, I got shouted at – loudly.


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