March 11th, 2010 browsing by day


March 11, Saigon

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

The nearly 24 hour train trip went well. I got plenty of sleep. The Vietnamese R.R. system works well. So, I spent as much as I would have paid for a hotel room, about $ 17.00 and it took me from Nhatrang to Saigon. I retrieved the bike from the train station and put a for sale sign on it for $ 40.00, wanting a quick sale. My good Vietnamese-American buddy, Mike, who I met in Saigon on the 1st day here, bought my bike. Partly for sentimental reasons. He has been a great friend and I look forward to see Mike when he visits the N.W. in April. I had a wonderful evening with him at his restaurant “Saigon Then and Now”. On this theme I decided to spend another evening on the roof of the “Rex” hotel. Possibly my last night in Saigon. The same entertainers were there as I reported in the week prior to “Tet”. The Spanish singer hauled me onto the stage for a duet of “Tears in Heaven”, which I happen to know almost all by heart. Afterwards I found out that he is 100% Vietnamese and he does not speak Spanish. He fooled me. I thought he was Puerto Rican. He looks Latin. The Greek Canadian singer introduced me to the audience when he was telling them the history of the Rex Hotel. I told them that I was part of the very first customers of the Rex when it was still being finished in December 1961. I told the audience that we cooked our Thanksgiving dinner on the roof with our own field kitchen; and that most of the troops had never seen a Bidet before.

I spent most of the day shopping for trinkets and gifts to bear with me to the USA and Holland. Should have had my first wife with me she had that totally emotionless bargaining power that drove the Vietnamese merchants to tears when we lived here in the early sixties. I’m a push over.

I took the laptop to the local doctors but they had no way to help other than to wipe what’s left of my files off the computer. That would be a disaster. All my 3 months travel pictures, new friends’ addresses, the articles I wrote would be going up in smoke. I am resisting and I am hoping for better news in the USA.

So, I’m trying to fly out of here in the next couple of days If I manage to find the address of my favorite travel agent.

This hotel’s computer does not have a slot for my camera memory card or a USB port, so, no pictures.