Wednesday, February 28, 2007

last minute preparations and the weather in vietnam

so when i ordered my plane ticket, i was forced to pay $55 for a paper ticket. my credit card was charged accordingly for two separate tickets, one of which corresponds in ticket number to the e-ticket i received. i still have not received the Fed-ex'ed ticket. i called the travel agency and they noted that the e-ticket email stated that i was only receiving an electronic ticket, at no extra charge. yet on the actual e-ticket, there is a comment in the remarks sections that notes that i will be charged $1062.20, which is exactly $55 more than the actual plane ticket, for a Fed-Ex delivered paper ticket. hmm. so the guy on the phone says he can't help me and doesn't know why i was charged for a paper ticket. now i'm waiting to talk to someone else that he referred me to, who for some reason is not answering the phone. i really want that $55 charge taken off my credit card.

FOLLOW-UP: after spending 30 minutes on the phone speaking to three separate people, all of whom i could barely understand (damn outsourcing and bad phone connection), they have explained over and over again that the $55 Service fee, which is for a pre-paid ticket authorization according to my AmEx statement, is actually for service charges and taxes on top of the $1007.20 that I paid for the airplane ticket. This is what they included in the "remarks" in my e-ticket. i'm still not convinced, but they are completely unwilling to back down. so, another $55 thrown away.

***WITH A TOTAL PRICE OF $1062.2***

i finally went and had a Hepatitis A vaccination. apparently it doesn't kick in for 3 weeks. i won't step foot in Vietnam for another 11 days, so i guess i'll have to be careful for the remaining 10 days. no street food, after all. i guess i'll have to live with paying $3 for pho rather than 50 cents. this is really going to mess up my budget.

i was supposed to have new shoes delivered for my trip, cheap TOMS shoes that would be comfortable enough for walking around yet i wouldn't cry over them being trashed. they still haven't arrived. it's been two weeks. we've been looking into it for one week. we still haven't been contacted.

the month long forecast for Hanoi is mid to high 70s. perfect.

the month long forecast for Saigon is mid 90s with thunderstorms. gee, that's just like boston in july, i'll feel right at home. i just hope the mosquitoes don't come out to play, since i don't have any malarial pills or whatever. must remember to buy lots of bug spray. the really toxic stuff.

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