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Thursday, 16 August 2007

More lost faces. Memories of Vietnam

I'll call her Yolande. It wasn't her name which was Vietnamese. She was one of the teachers at a school I worked at. She had an absolutely correct English accent of a type rarely found in Great Britain. When I questioned her pronunciation of the word 'abroad' one day she said that was the way she had learnt it at Oxford. Well I've never claimed to have an Oxford accent myself. An exceedingly pleasant young lady. I think her family were something to do with the military as she lived in a very secure part of the airfield at Tan Son Nhut.
After the fall of Saigon I often wondered what had happened to her, whether she had married or not. I don't think she had been very lucky in that domain.
One day I was in Paris near the entrance to the Jardins Luxembourg, at the top of the Boulevard Saint Michel. I can't remember when this was but it must have been in the late 1970s perhaps 1979 or maybe a year or two earlier. Suddenly I saw a face hurrying in the opposite direction maybe ten yards away. My mind is often slow and it takes a while for things to sink in, but then suddenly I realised who it was, turned to wave, but Yolande had gone. I hurried after but the crowds were thick and I lost sight of her.
That's another unfinished story as I never knew what became of her, although I'm glad that she got out of Saigon.

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