Tuesday, 31 July 2007
A quiet corner of Cholon in 1968. Memories of Vietnam
I had been wandering through the deserted streets of Cholon for nearly an hour when I came across this group of South Vietnamese Field Police.I was most relieved to find them.
I always got lost in Cholon when driving but this day I was on foot. I have talked about tranquility earlier. That to be found in a monastery or pagoda. That in the mountains or by a river. A natural peace and quiet even if a little unsettling at times not knowing who was about.
This was the silence of town. Towns were only ever quiet during the hours of curfew. The silence of a town at sleep, undisturbed by late night drivers or noisy scooters. Towns were also quiet, deathly quiet when the shelling had stopped, the bombs were no longer falling, the machine guns were silent. The population was still absent. Lone snipers were still about. Pockets of Viet Cong were to be found here and there. There was a quiet, an unnatural silence. Walking alone, slightly lost, down those deserted and destroyed streets brought no relaxation only an alert nervousness. I really wonder at times what I was doing there.