Thursday, March 19, 2009


(PICTURE: One of my local fruit vendors. Picture courtesy of Veronica.)

How many of these fruits can you name?

In Vietnam you have a few options when it comes to buying fruits and vegetables.

OPTION 1: The first option is to buy your produce at the supermarket. This is a good option if you don't mind paying twice the price for fruit that never seems totally fresh.

OPTION 2: The second option is to buy your fruit from a fruit stand. The stands always have a wide variety of fruits but the price is a tad higher than option 3.

OPTION 3: Option three is to buy fruit from the ladies (or occasional guy) who sells fruit from the baskets on the back of their bikes. The fruit here is always fresh and cheap. However, you have to deal with ladies who are often as sour as the grapefruits they're selling. There are plenty of nice fruit vendors but on occasion you get one who tries to rip you off. There's this one lady around the corner who always tries to give me more pineapple than I want so she can charge me more. The other day I told her I wanted 15,000 worth of pineapple. She agreed and then threw another pineapple into the bag and told me to give her 20,000. I said no. She said yes. I said no. She said yes. I said no and then walked away and got on my motorbike. She chased after me and grabbed me and then re-agreed to our original price. I then handed her a 20,000 bill because I didn't have change. She then tried to give me just 2,000 change. I said no and grabbed back my 20,000 bill. After proceeding to play tug-o-war for fifteen seconds she finally lamented. To me, it's not the 5,000 dong but the principal that is annoying. I always willingly let the vendors rip me off a little but when they try to take advantage of me (and laugh to their neighboring friends that they are charging me more) I get ticked. I'm now buying pineapple from the lady across the street from my old pineapple lady...she at least says she's charging me 20,000 dong from the start.