Before anyone gets any ideas, this was NOT our plan. It was an honest mistake, assuming that we were honeymooners. Maybe we should have corrected them sooner, but it all got too complicated.
Jamie did all the organising and booking of Halong Bay for my birthday, and as the staff of our hotel rushed to get us onto a good boat, they got the details a bit wrong. The switched the word ‘birthday’ for ‘honeymoon’ and before Jamie could correct them, the phone had been hung up and we were given our tickets and transport details. Maybe he was too polite, or we can blame the language differences, but we figured it was a small mistake and nothing would come from it.
The next day though, we were collected by our helpful guide Kiew and taken to Halong Bay, to board the beautiful Phoenix Cruiser with 18 others for a couple of nights on the water. And all of a sudden, we were being welcomed onto the boat as the celebrated newlyweds. Jamie had warned me in advance of the phone call and although we hoped it wouldn’t come up again, we decided to just make sure our facts were straight. We decided just to keep our mouths shut, smile and nod.
Everything was going smoothly until Kiew came over to the table where we were having a drink with another couple. In his broken english, he offered us his congratulations and let us know he was very happy for us. As he walked away, the other couple looked confused and so we decided to let them in on the secret. They thought it was hysterical!
We thought we were through the worst of it but then, for dessert, they dimmed the lights and presented us with a cake, complete with ‘Honeymoon’ decorated into the icing. There was applause, some laughter (from the couple that knew, plus a few others that had caught on to the charade) and so we got up, made a show of cutting the cake together, and then hid our laughter as best as we could.
You would think the lesson in this is clear – to tell the truth otherwise you’ll be caught in a lie for almost three days. But the other lesson is this – fake honeymoons get you cake and freebies!