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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Odd sights and sounds in the night:Vietnam memories 1965 1975


Post 107

Odd sights and sounds in the night. Tan Dinh, Saigon

I was walking home rather late one evening. Perhaps after curfew as there was not a soul about. I didn't take it seriously. One evening a police patrol in a jeep had picked me up and taken me home and then seemeed rather put out that I didn't give them a tip. As I went by the market I saw this fellow sleeping on a camp bed. He was lying on his back in what I took to be a deep opium induced sleep. Otherwise I cannot explain the rat sitting upright on his forehead.

Another night around midnight I heard a noise on the roof as though something had fallen on it. I put my revolver in my pocket and went outside. Not seeing anything from the front I went around to the back. Not seeing anything there either I started to return to the front door when my nerves were shattered by the sound of automatic rifle fire. I don't think I was being shot at as I didn't hear any bullets whistling by my ears, a sound I was familiar with, but I panicked and took to my heels and sprinted around the corner to get back to my front door. A voice shouted 'Halt' from a window in the school opposite. Ten yards away. I came to an abrupt stop and put my hands in the air and stood there like an idiot until the combined army and police patrol came up.
KC had opened our front door and explications were given. However there were times when I thought that these so called guards were more danger than they were worth.

The Field Police I found were very calm, the Civil Police varied a lot but the so called People's Self Defence Force were a real menace.

1 comment:

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