Mike and I have been wandering around Saigon in our travel vests and wearing goofy looking hats to keep sun off bald heads. People just stare at us like we are from outer space. They are very friendly and chatty. We hear all the time. " You brothers?" You look all same same!. The other odd thing is we keep getting patted on the belly and here "Bhudda" or "Happy Bhudda" along w/ a big smile or laugh. They seem to be very tactile people. Every girl in the maket wants to grab my hand or arm and get me to stop and buy something, It's all very gentle but persistant. We had a 70 year old male guide today (more on that later.) who constantly touched Mike or me on the arm or leg while talking to us.
NOTE internet connexion is so unstable i wont correct spelling as im afraid of losing everthing
Took a very cool speed boat ride up to Can Tho today. . Interestingly thisis not given much write up in the guidebook, and the hotel receptionist told us the boat went out of business. It does not appear on the tourist maps. It is a great way to avoid 4-5 hrs on a bus and stopping off at candy factory, handicrafts venues etc where all the busses stop. There are no kickbacks to hotels etc if we bypass all that..Interesting.
Once we got here we arranged a tour to see Mike's old area in Binh Thuy. He couldn't recognize much. Our guide was a former SVN Army captain. Very interesting to talk w/ him. His English was very hard to understand but we did OK.
As we were returning to town he asked if we wanted to meet his American friend who had moved to VN and married a local woman who was a friend of his daughter. We went to his house and he wasn't home but the guides old army buddy who had escaped to Vancouver 30 yrs ago was the neighbor of theAmerican, and said the american would be home in 10 mins. We had some tea with this guy who owned real estate in vancouver and bellingham while waiting. Talked about "re-education camps" they had to endure etc. The Anerican shows up and it turns out that his brother was one of the guests at Kyla and Brady's wedding! He had a lovely VN wife and we visited15 min or so before we had to leave. Small world! (Kyla is my daughter)
Alot more I'd like to say about beiong a veteran and some of the things people tell us about thei experinces afgter the north won, but I keep getting warnigs about unable to continue, lakc of memory etc so will send this in hopes at least somethin gets thru