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Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Relations with the Vietnamese

In our work with Decca we had little or nothing to do officially or unofficially with the Vietnamese. If we had limited ourselves uniquely to doing our job and living mostly on base we could have spent a year or eighteen months making a lot of money and then gone home knowing little or nothing of the country. I do know of a few cases like that but they were fairly exceptional. I would say the Americans were far wilder than the British. I was with the Americans and we were under yearly contracts. The British under the London office worked for Decca and one imagines had a future with the company.
As we were mostly, if not all, batchelors the majority had local girlfriends, many got married. It is either one of the pitfalls or pleasures of sending single men to exotic corners of the world.
Also it was very difficult to live in Vietnam if one did not have a maid to take care of one's day to day needs. Then one needed someone to take care of the maid etc.
I always believed Vietnam to be one country in a state of civil war. This was in contradiction to the official US view. They had always been one people throughout history and eventualy would be so again.
There was a distinct difference in character though between the north and the south. In the south they were much more easy going, in fact had an easier life, the war apart. They were very quick to anger and the fury of their women was something to be avoided. This anger though would last an hour or a day, no grudge would be held, and everything would then return to a state of loving normality. Generally they were absolutely faithful.
The North Vietnamese had a much harder life and had never accepted French domination. They were generally very slow to anger. It was said that they would wait ten or twenty years if necessary before exacting their revenge. Easier to get on with, more practical, but one was never certain of what they actually thought.

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BBCVietnamese.com | Trang chủ | Tin thế giới

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