In the port of Chan May there is always a big souvenir fair on the pier. They sell ridiculously cheap things, a lot of marble which may be powdered and pressed, or plastic, as Sherwin pointed out that my prized green Buddha was.
‘Where you from?’
“Lady you help me – I have Canada coins – Loonie, Twoonie – you change money?”
This was so bizarre and I knew immediately what the scam was – but it didn’t bother me a bit.
They had around $22 dollars in Twonies, loonies, quarters, and smaller – and I gave them us $20 for them. Of course all of us complained and argued over the exchange rate, but this was so brilliant I didn’t mind losing a couple dollars. Do you know their scam yet? I will let you in at the end of this post..
As I disappeared back to the ship, a new lady approached me. ‘Where you from?’
I thought, the secret’s out now. Canada
“Lady you have souvenir from Canada? Small souvenir I remember you – for Vietnamese girl?”
No I’m sorry, I haven’t..
“Lady anything, small coin, Canada coin, you show me?”
No, I don’t have any..
“Loonie, Twoonie, no have? Show me!”
I walked away smiling. How many Canadians tourists have come through the port, feeling touched by their cultural experiences and wanting to share something with these ladies.