20 Aug

The Road from Saigon. Memories of Vietnam

I must have remained overnight and had to get back that evening to be ready for responsibility the next day. There were automobiles with chauffeurs one could work with. There were French cars and trucks with seats for eight or ten people where one might buy a location.
All went well down the Bien Hoa highway. It had theoreticaly three lanes in either instructions. Or at least I think it did because in practise the concept of lanes was alien to the Vietnamese mind. Let’s simply state that there were 2 flows of traffic entering opposite instructions. Flows comprised of every imaginable type of transport imaginable surpassing on your left or right, no matter. From huge US duce and a halfs all the way to overladen motor scooters. The inevitable three-wheeled-scooter-powered-taxi-cum-all-purpose-goods-transport. The only thing I never saw were tanks. They did appear from time to time however then everything else vanished. I’ve never been down that twenty (?) mile stretch of highway without seeing a major, often deadly accident.
After the highway we went by rubber plantations of sinister track record. In the heat of the day rubber plantations are delightfuly cool. They feel truly creepy. A lot of things have happened in them to ever take pleasure in existing. This area would later be the obligation of Thai soldiers. Mostly understood for having extremely successfully shelled there own base.(Site : S188)
Night was waning and the automobile’s radiator started providing cause for difficulty. The motorist kept on getting out to go and find water in exactly what were most likely the beginings of the mangrove swamps. Night falls suddenly in the east and suddenly it was dark. The Renault either had no lights or the driver picked not to market our presence using them; the darkness was total.
Part 2
I have the ability to retain that fantastic British calm in periods of stress. Outwardly it appears exceptional. Inwardly it is exactly what I call one of the tones of worry. I was to get to understand all the tones of fear over the coming years. Discipline assists one blanket out reality. One functions normally, one is totally without emotion. When one returns to the real life it leaves no trace. One’s mind has actually been entirely secured. It is also rather self-destructive unless you are born with the luck of the Irish.
The road that led to Baria had actually been the scene of an especially bloody ambush shortly in the past. The hills that relaxeded a brief range from the roadway were infested with Viet Cong.
The Viet Cong were often setting up road blocks and any foreigner who accidently strayed too far on the wrong day disappeared. Later an Australian department would move in to attempt to clear the area.
There was a stressing crunching noise and the automobile concerned a holt. Silence. We got out. The automobile was tangled up in a mess of barbed wire. We waited, however there was no movement, the location seemed deserted. Had the Viet Cong laid the barbed wire? Was it left over from a previous road block previously in the evening? Were they preparing something for the next morning? All traffic was prohibited on that roadway in the evening from dusk to dawn. Just a certifiable nutter would use it. We had 4 flat tires. Somewhere deep inside me I felt really terrified however managed to reduce it in some way. We got in and limped along for exactly what seemed ages. The tyres were in shreds. I question if the wheels were any better. We lastly arrived in Baria. I offered the chauffeur some more money and took one of the three wheeled taxis from Baria to Vungtau. That stretch of the roadway was relatively protected in the day. Dodgy at night, prohibited likewise to traffic, it was total paradise to what I had actually just been through.

One functions typically, one is totally without feeling. The Viet Cong were often setting up roadway blocks and any immigrant who accidently wandered off too far on the incorrect day disappeared. Was it left over from a previous road block earlier in the evening? All traffic was forbidden on that road at night from sunset to dawn. That stretch of the road was relatively safe in the day.