Sunday, 26 June 2011
Tales of frustrated love from Saigon. Vietnam memories 1965 1975
The local newspapers were full of interesting little anecdotes of daily happenings. This is when they weren't full of blank censured spaces. Can a page be full of blank spaces? Or simply closed down. Politicians liked to have their own newspaper as a political mouthpiece. My own impression of the Vietnamese was that if you had two politicians you had three political parties. There were usually two newspapers in English and one in French. The French 'Le Journal de l'Extrême Orient' was similar in format to Le Monde but twice as boring.
Vietnamese girls were very sentimental dreamers. Frankly a public menace. The following story has always amused me. There were two sisters whose house was next to a military academy. They fell in love with two cadets. They never actually met them but dreamed up all sorts of things. One day two girls came to visit these cadets and met them at the gates, which were overlooked by the house of the two dreamers. Understanding that the cadets already had girl friends they decided to end their days by committing suicide. They were equally incompetent at that and survived. It turned out that the cadets had in any case been visited by their sisters.
Another tale of frustrated love was that of a young male employee in a shop who fell in love with his female boss. Being spurned in love he also decided to finish everything. He was found hanging from a beam with the brassiere of his employer. He also survived.