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Monday, 15 January 2007

Getting organised

I spent the next few weeks getting organised.
The U.S. dollar was still being used alongside the Vietnamese piastre. Funny, there used to be piastres in Cyprus when I was there in the army at the time of the E.O.K.A. business.
One was introduced to the helpful services of the Indian money changers. They were also in the "rag trade".One visited the PX that haven (or was it heaven) of capitalism. One noted the black market in Le Loi street full of goods stolen from the PX.
Hotel accomodation was a problem. I was lodged in a place of very dubious reputation although the top floor bar was a most novel experience. Later I would stay in the Hôtel Majestique. Ghastly food but such refined service and "please, no girls in the bedrooms". I would discover the Hôtel Continental and its terrace (more on that later).
I did night shift on the monitoring service during this time to leave the days free to do the mountains of paperwork necessary to function.
When going to Tan Son Nhut one asked for the"Porte militaire", paid 20 piastres for a 17 piastre journey and said keep the change. A few years later it cost over 300 piastres and one haggled fiercely.
The first night I got lost on the unlit airfield and found myself in a very black Vietnamese helicopter park. Each "chopper" was guarded by a doberman or alsatian. I bumped into two US Airforce officers with drawn pistols, equally lost, and decided I needed one too.

2 comments:

Sarge Charlie said...

Well sir, I am so pleased you stopped by my place, I am going through you photographs and see some things that look familure in Cholon, I lived in a hotel there for several months in 1968. I am compairing yours to mine now.

Thanks again, I plan to link you site if that is ok with you

vnrozier said...

Thank you for your comments. I'm so new to blogging, 10 days, that I don't know if this message is going to your blog or mine.I am not up to linking yet but will try soon.Please go ahead and I'll follow when I can.
I remember walking through the deserted streets of Cholon, not a soul to be seen. It was really spooky.I should be adding comments to the blog about once a week.

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