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Sunday, 23 January 2011

Memories of Vietnam: parts 76: Long evenings with the US advisers: Tay Ninh: Vietnam

Post 76


Long evenings with the US advisers: Tay Ninh: Vietnam

Life jogged along fairly quietly in Tay Ninh. It seemed we were always waiting for an attack that never happened. There was no social life. The two Englishmen didn't appear to have any girl friends and in any case most restaurants, bars etc. were closed during this time.

Life on station was not unpleasant but decidedly boring to explain in detail.

What I remember most from my time there was the long drinking sessions with the US Special Forces who were the advisers to these Cambodian merceneries. We always seemed to gravitate to their mess, if it could be called that, every evening. A bottle of scotch whisky appeared. Luckily it was scotch because I utterly loath bourbon and rye. Our consumtion must have been very high and I dread to remember how much we got through. The sessions went on until about two o'clock in the morning. I don't remember anybody actually getting drunk. It was all very civilised and scotch, when drunk very slowly does let one keep a clear head. I can't remember what we talked about. Doubtless we solved all the troubles in the world and Vietnam in particular. 1968 was the begining of the end anyway.

We didn't play cards. In the Bahamas on Golding Cay, Green Slave Station which was off Andros, I used to play endless hours of cribbage. There was a little poker from time to time with visiting Americans but although I liked the game I always avoided high stakes. I knew of a fellow at Phan Thiet who spent eighteen months in Vietnam, had saved most of his money, and then during his last month had lost the lot at poker.

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