The other night I was home and I heard a knock on the door. This seemed odd because I never have random people stop by and you need a key to get in the gate outside… I thought maybe it was one of my girls stopping by? But why wouldn’t they call? And how would they get in the front gate? I was suddenly on guard.
I hid my laptop, phone and money clip. Then I grabbed my knife. Who knows what this shit is… I went over to the door and I barked “WHO IS IS?!?!” I heard a girls voice… She was speaking very soft and I could hardly hear her. WTF… I cracked open the door just enough to peek out. It was a tall, well dressed, extremely pretty girl. She smelled fantastic too. All dolled up like she was about to hit the club. I was immediately taken back by her beauty. She looked like she could be a model or a promotions girl.
My mind immediately thought the worst… Is this a set up? There’s probably a couple of goons on each side of her just out of site and they’re waiting for me to open the door to rush me. This must me a set up! They have been scoping out the rich white man for several months and now they are going to pull some home invasion shit.
OK maybe I’m a paranoid fuck… I said “WHAT DO YOU WANT??!”
She pointed downstairs and said “police, police.” I said “so what do they want from me???” She obviously spoke no English, she just waved at me to follow her and said “police, police.”
Expat Living in Saigon, ( Ho Chi Minh City ) Vietnam
WTF is this shit… I went back in my room and put on a shirt. I went downstairs and there was one police officer in the lobby of my building. I’ve never had any interactions with police here and I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’ve heard endless stories of corruption and there are even scammers who dress as police officers… I was sketched out by the situation.
The cop starts asking me a bunch of questions. What’s my name, my job, what am I doing here? How long have I been here? He asked for my passport, which was in my room… So I ran back upstairs to grab it for him.
Apparently the hot girl lives in my building and he knocked on her door first. Then he sent her around to get everyone else. Or maybe just me??? It was only us three down there. Perhaps nobody else was home, which seemed odd… Or maybe they just didn’t go downstairs? I was confused. I felt like I was being specifically targeted.
One thing that sticks out in my mind is that the cop asked me “how many foreigners live here? Are you the only foreigner?” I said “yes I think I’m the only one.”
He said “ok I will keep your passport. The owner will get it back for you.” Uhhh WTF…. I wanted to say “no you aren’t you gook mother fucker!” But what could I do? I just cringed and said “ok…. please keep it safe….” He said “yeah yeah yeah don’t worry” as he stuffed it into his pocket and walked off. The hot girl disappeared and I went back up to my room.
This was not a good feeling. I immediately text the owner who rented me the apartment. He told me he would get the passport back and “don’t worry.” He said it’s a “bullshit inspection and they just want money.”
Well I hope nobody hits me up for money! I’m just sitting home minding my own damn business and I get my passport jacked. Several days later and I hear nothing from the guy… I text him again and he says “ yeah yeah yeah don’t worry I will get it for you. They want money…” He didn’t ask me for money, but I was starting to think he was hinting towards that… But I never offered.
One Week Later
A full week passed and I was starting to get nervous. I text the owner again to ask what’s going on. No response. I’m thinking about going to the police department myself and asking about it. Or possibly contacting the US embassy and having them call Hanoi to make a formal complaint… Not looking to stir the pot but WTF man I want my passport back!
Several days later I come home and see my passport on the floor of my apartment… Apparently the owner got it back and slipped it under my door when I wasn’t home. No text or anything… I just text him “Thanks.”
So that’s my story. Just wanted to share. I know there are several other members here who live in Vietnam. Have you ever encountered this type of shit? I wonder if they targeted me because I’m a foreigner? The cop asked me a shit load of questions about my visa and if I work here. I think that technically they aren’t supposed to rent apartments to tourists. Only people with work or marriage visas.
When I rented a place in Da Nang, the owner said “you can’t rent a house with a tourist visa but don’t worry, we pay the police. No problem.” That’s usually how things work in these countries. If you have enough money, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Who knows… Apparently, every neighborhood has a government informant that is watching everything and reports to the police. I wonder if this is a normal occurrence or if they came for me because I’m the white guy.
I’m just happy I got my passport back and I didn’t have to pay anything. I’m sure the owner of my building coughed up some “tea money.” Who knows how much.
Another day in paradise…