rod mclaughlin

Phu Tuc to Buon Ma Thuot (31 mar 18)

The man who bombed the palace in Saigon - Nguyen Thanh Trung

I was always impressed by the man who mutinied against the collapsing South Vietnamese regime on April 8 1975 by turning his American F-5E fighter against his own side, bombing the presidential palace. There was a picture of it Private Eye magazine, with the headline "Thieu What A Scorcher!" You have to be old and British to get the joke.

He then landed in North Vietnam, which by this time wasn't far away. He then took part in the bombing of Tan Son Nhut air base.

I did another 100 Km day into the highlands, but somehow it wasn't uphill. This reminds me of the Monty Python (orginally At Last the 1948 Show) sketch "Four Yorkshiremen".

They compete to describe their horrible childhoods, getting more and more horrible and implausible. Can you imagine a Vietnamese version?

"US airforce used t' drop napalm on us on way t' school, an' when we got 'ome, our 'ole family had been rounded up, put in a ditch, and shot. Tell that to young people today - they'll not believe you."

One night in a new but crap trendy hotel in Ea Kar, called "Cool Cafe" or "Hoa LuÌ›" and its run by teenagers. The window has a new trendy opener which has fallen off, causing the heavy window to fall when you try to open it. I plugged in my computer in the socket behind the large flatscreen tv attached to the wall, and it nearly fell off. Then a short ride with the wind behind me took me to Buon Ma Thuot, where I made the mistake of picking the second hotel I saw, the Hong Kong, which is where I am now, whereas the third, the Mai Anh next door, is better, and cheaper - $10. I'll move there tomorrow. They are both opposite the Co-op - where you can buy cheese and wine!


The evacuation of Da Nang

I didn't think anything new could shock me about the American war in Vietnam, but this video of deserting South Vietnamese soldiers forcing their way onto an American plane, pushing women and children out of the way, makes me think of the current European refugee crisis:

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