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Sunday, 7 October 2012

A month in the Hôpital Grall, Saigon: Memories of Vietnam 1965 1975

I was to spend a month in hospital. The food was rotten and I was on a fat and salt free diet which didn't help. I had however an unlimited supply of bananas and oranges. I really came to love them. The Vietnamese patients usually had their own food brought in. They often went home for the night. I went back home once after a couple of weeks as I couldn't find a shower that worked. A little shaky on my legs.

 I had a newspaper delivered every day. KC and son came to visit each day. She seemed a little irritated when she discovered that I wasn't dying and that I elected to stay in hospital. The brother-in-law had taken over the house to shoot a film when we had gone to Dalat and my son was flirting outrageously with the actresses. But he would with any dolled up woman.

I had a visit from one of KC's cousins who was in the hospital for a minor operation. He was the vice-president of the Cirque Sportif and a former Attorney-General of Vietnam, so that put up my rating with my doctor. He was a Colonel in the French army. Cheroot smoking, a very decent fellow.

 There were some Polish soldiers there. The heat was causing them problems. They were part of an international observer force. One, the older, was true communist party, the younger didn't seem to give two hoots for them.

 A lovely letter from some female. I could never discover who sent it.

 I was sitting in the grounds one day when this snake fell out of a tree and landed near me. Long and thin it reared up and hissed at me then went off to chase a lizzard.

The dead were taken down to the hospital morgue a little too frequently. Too much TB about as well.

Not really enough energy to flirt with the nurses but generally I found the stay not unpleasant.

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