Sunday, 19 June 2011
Of dumb blondes etc. Saigon, Vietnam: Vietnam Memories 1965 1975
They gave me this dumb blonde to take along when I visted the US bases. She was very kind but I never did figure out her place in the organisation. Perhaps to tempt the US servicemen with her charms? Once when we went to Vung Tau we stayed overnight in a house the company kept. The woman who looked after it showed me to my room. In it there was a large rat sitting upright on the pillow of what was meant to be my bed looking at us. No sign either of hostility or fear from it. The woman made no remark at all which I found very strange. Perhaps they knew each other.
I have an utter loathing of rats crawling over me whilst sleeping. Being in no hurry to go to bed that night the blonde asked me if I would like to sleep with her. I've never quite understood the Americans liking for them, that is blondes. Our secretary with Decca had been one. Anyway by this time I had been in Vietnam long enough to find westerners rather large in the hips with big noses. It would take me many years later to re-adapt. I spent the night in our vehicle. Not the first time it had happened because of rats.
I bumped into an American down town in Saigon who used to work with Decca. I'd known him in the Bahamas. He'd already done one tour in Vietnam. He liked to climb up to the top of our three hundred foot antenna with a few beers and his camera and a long range lens. A former Texas Ranger I never knew exactly what he had been doing with Decca in Vietnam. He now tried to sell me some land in the New Hebrides or somewhere. We were obliged to do many odd things at that time.
I had shaved my beard off. I needed to keep a low profile as a little of my past was catching up with me. It was somewhat worrying to have to open my door with one hand behind my back with a revolver in it. Certain aspects of my life had been a little complicated. Evidently it worked as nobody seemed to know me any more. Jim was spending a lot of time in some casino near Tan Son Nhut. Very dark and smoky I never knew if he had some interest in it. He introduced me to another ex Black Watch but we didn't get on. He was ex rifle company and seemed to have a contempt for those who had been in HQ company.