Crazy imperialist american pigs
Trip Start Dec 28, 2004
272Trip End Ongoing
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i have left saigon and am on the move through out the vietnamese countryside on my way to hanoi where i will cross the border into china. saigon was a real fun place and the atmosphere was quite laid back. i went out on a couple of dates with what may be the best looking girl that has ever talked to me. i met her at one of the markets where she owned a little shop with her brother. i ended up buying a stone chess set from them despite the fact the thing weighs like 20lbs and i have to carry it in my backpack. gave me a good excuse to stay and talk with her for awhile.
i made it to the "cu chi" tunnels which are about 30 kilometers from saigon. it was a group tour and after we bought our tickets we were guided into a class room to watch a "documentry" about the tunnels. i knew i was in for an interesting experience when i saw that there was a small shrine to uncle ho on top of the tv. the "documentry" was made in 1967 by the north vietnamese army. to say they were slightly biased would be beyond stating the obvious. i think the exact phrase was "the crazy imperialist american pigs". i asked if i could buy the movie on dvd but it was not for sale. in the beginning of the movie the voice made a statement "they even killed woman and children" but 10 minutes later they show a young girl armed to the teeth and say "this is ........ and she is only 13 but she is fighting the american pigs". my question is, is it wrong to kill her then? after the movie we were taken down a path through the surrounding forest. somewhere up ahead in the forest was a rifle range where u could fire all the guns from the vietnam war (very popular with europeans who cant own guns) so as we walked through this old battle ground you heard VERY loud machine gun fire up ahead. added a nice touch of realism and made your skin crawl all at the same time. the forest was pock marked with what i learned was giant craters left from 500lbs bombs during the famous carpet bombing campaigns. they were overgrown and had trees growing in them now but they still scar the land and will for a long time to come.
during the tour i kind of self censored what i was listening to. to be honest, i have no interest to hear how brave and glorious the people who killed my fellow countrymen were. we were shown quite a number of various booby traps that had been employed throughout the area. most of these looked quite horrific and the fact that they were designed NOT to kill but instead to torture made them that much worse. the tunnels that were open to us were actually enlarged to be twice the size of the originals since there was no way a westerner was going to fit in those things. as it was you were barely able to duck walk through them. i know im a big guy but even the little scrawny ones were having trouble negotiating the tight turns in the pitch black of the tunnels. im not one to suffer from fear of heights or claustrophobia etc etc but i must admit, i started to slightly freak out down there in the dark confining spaces.
one of the last things we were shown was an old american tank that had been destroyed by a mine and left there to be overtaken by the jungle. after explaining how it was disabled and other fun facts he invited everyone to take pictures with it. now im not overly patriotic or anything, but seeing a bunch of europeans climb around and mug for the camera on what was effectively the grave for 4 americans really pissed me off.
well here i am and im still moving on through the world. its getting time to go back to work soon and i am definitely not looking forward to that. hope all is well with you guys