Thursday, 23 February 2017
The Road to Baria: part 2: Vietnam notes & photos 1965 1975
The Road to Baria: part 2
Once coming back from Baria I saw a vehicle on its back in what used to be known as Madame Nhu's shrimp farms. This had been a project of the sister-in-law of the then president Ngo Dinh Diem. Now they had reverted to nature. In fact the whole length of the road between Baria and Vungtau was bordered by mangrove swamps. Mud at low tide, water at high tide.
This was low tide and the vehicle was lying on the mud. There were a dozen or so arms or legs sticking out. It was obvious to me it had been a simple accident. I wasn't driving. I asked the driver to stop. He put his foot on the accelerator and took off at high speed, a sort of wild look on his face. I forget his name, I wouldn't mention it in any case, but he was beginning to crack up. There is a certain fear which over time builds up in one, one gets jumpy and panicky for no reason at all. This is another of what I call the shades of fear. I thought it a pretty poor show, but then maybe I had been in the scouts and he hadn't. There was a tendency on the part of some people to never get involved in anything outside their job. All I saw was a simple accident that required the help of passersby. He saw a vehicle, perhaps blown up by the Vietcong, and panicked. It's strange how after a period of forty years things still irritate one. It is probable that at the time I was angry for a day and then shoved it to the back of my mind for many a long year.