Agent Orange Reporting for Duty
Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
301Trip End Ongoing
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I went to bed that night wondering if what I'd seen was real. Maybe I was having an Burmese, hallucinogenic betel nut flashback. As the days went on we saw more of these people on the streets. We saw our friend from the restaurant again; palming his way past us as his body lay contorted on a 4-wheel dolly. How on earth this could be. We pondered this, right up until we left Laos and returned to the "civilization" of Thailand, not thinking much of it after that.
Back in Toronto, two months after our travels in Laos we went to a movie called "The Corporation". It was a bit of an over-the-top documentary made by some Canadians from British Columbia about bad rich people. I was about to nod off when suddenly I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand. Up on the screen was our twisted beggar friend from Laos. The segment of the documentary was describing the effects of the Vietnam War defoliant "agent orange" on the human fetus. Then I saw the guy on the screen hobble in an upright position. It wasn't our friend from Laos after all. People who are put together backwards just look alike. I was shocked. Seeing the movie is one thing. Seeing the movie, then matching the characters up with the real McCoy is quite another.