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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Memories of Vietnam: part 14

14

The Irishman

The previous story brings to mind one of our cartographers. He was from Ulster, I forget which religion, I don't think it mattered. He was also an artist. He did have some odd views on the question of independence for an Ulster not linked to either the catholic south or Great Britain though.


Anyway, he told me that when the police raided his house and took away his overnight guest, he was so incensed he went down to the police station to try to get her out. Not succeeding he broke a chair over the chief of police's desk. No consequences.


Earlier he had been stationed in My Tho in the Mekong Delta. One night he took refuge in a bunker during a mortar attack only to be bitten by a snake. He didn't know whether to stay there and risk dying of snake poisoning or get to the first aid post and risk getting cut up by the shrapnel. In any case he had a permanent blackish mark on his foot the size of a dollar.


He was a rotten driver and when he went back to the UK he killed himself in his sports car on the M1 motorway.
I often wonder if it is better to get killed honourably in battle or exotically by a snake rather than becoming some banal road accident statistic.

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BBCVietnamese.com | Trang chủ | Tin thế giới

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