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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Religious Scamming

I went into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) again on Thursday.

This time I stopped at the Hindu temple to check it out. As I entered, a woman shoved some incense in my hand. I tried to refuse it several times, but she insisted. She drug me over to the burning oil lamp & lit it for me, then gestured that I should place a stick in front of each of the gods & pray.

I did as I was told, taking photos along the way.

The temple was small but beautiful. I looked around, but didn't see my favorite Hindu god Ganesha there.

When I was finished, I put my shoes back on & exited the way I had come. The incense woman was waiting outside for me & asked for 20,000 Dong for the incense. Aha! A scam! I began to walk away, but a couple of her friends surrounded me. With angry looks on their faces, they demanded the 20,000. I handed her 5000 & pushed through the crowd. They did not follow me, but I could hear their incredulous voices, probably calling me a jerk (or worse).

So much for my religious experience.

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