The travel agent at the check-in counter of Nokair in the Bangkok airport asked me a simple question as I handed over my passport to check in for my flight to Vietnam yesterday;
No problem. I handed over my Capital One Visa card. He looked at me like I was the dumbest human being to ever step foot in the DMK international Airport in Bangkok. Needless to say, I did not have a Visa to enter Vietnam. However, I did have a ticket for a flight leaving in 2 hours paid for with my Capital One Visa card. What's in your Wallet. Or Passport. Not a Visa.
I missed that flight.
After 8000 google searches for "URGENT VISA" and an odd phone call with some woman in Vietnam, I scored a rushed visa that was emailed to me. It only took 4 hours and the worst airport WiFi on earth to get that done. Progress.
So, I bought another flight and showed the gate agent a picture of some letter from some agency in Vietnam saying something about letting me and 6 other random people into Vietnam. I celebrated with a dish of rice and a fried egg that might have been cooked in 1983.
They let me on the plane.
Now, mind you I did not have the required visa application, the required two pictures of myself, or the required printed copy of the letter granting me access to Vietnam. Requirements Shmequirments.
I boarded the plane. Middle seat.
We landed in Vietnam.
I think I talked to every human being in the Saigon airport trying to get all the info needed for the visa needed to get through passport control. I also gave every single one of them $5 US Dollars. $5 to print my acceptance letter. $5 to take my picture. $5 to print my picture. $5 tell me which desk to go too. $5 to tell me it was the wrong desk. $5 to stare at me clueless. $10 to sell me a 4g SIM card that was actually 3G. I must have blown $200 in immigration control.
They let me in. So, I did what any American would do and ordered Uber. Have I ever ordered an Uber in a foreign country? No. A communist foreign country? No.
Somehow, I found the uber driver who stared at me clueless and we headed to the hotel. 45 minutes and $4 later I was dropped off at the hotel. Well, dropped off 2 miles away from the hotel. Close enough I guess...
I made it. Today I drink some Vietnamese coffee and try to avoid the 80 trillion motor scooters.
Ps. I lied, it is a Hostel, not a hotel because I blew all my money on a Visa.