|04-30-2008, 07:41 AM||#63|
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Nashoba Valley
Great photography! Thanks for posting!
I survived the Great Folk Music Scare of the 1960s (when it almost caught on) !
|04-30-2008, 07:43 AM||#64|
Joined: Dec 2007
Thanks for all the nice replies to my thread and also from the Vietnam Veterans who have read this.
BTW about the bikes in China - I'm guess that in 5 years or so, bikes or at least big capacity bikes will be allowed in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou etc etc again. Rich Chinese will forget that before only farmers used to ride bikes in China and they will want to go out and buy Harleys.
|04-30-2008, 10:10 AM||#66|
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: God's country and he can have it.
It seems fairly prosperous there, lot's of shops and things for sale. Is that the impression you get? I know you mentioned the annual salary, but that may stretch a little further than here in the land of the big PX.
|04-30-2008, 10:58 AM||#68|
Ready on the right....
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Siargao Dreamin...
Without A Net...
|04-30-2008, 11:56 AM||#69|
Joined: Jun 2005
Excellent images. Really makes you feel like you are there.
"It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy."
1971 Triumph Bonneville
1974 Yamaha DT175
1971 Honda CL350
1972 Honda CL350
1982 Kawasaki GPz 550
1983 Kawasaki GPz 550
1993 Honda XR100
1992 Honda XR250L
1993 Honda XR250L
1997 BMW F650 Funduro
2004 KTM 950
|04-30-2008, 12:27 PM||#70|
Joined: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia.
Thanks for the pics and words mate.
Seeing bikes being used as practical transport is very cool.
What kind of work are you doing in Vietnam by the way?
It's not just a mode of transport, it's a fking adventure!
|04-30-2008, 12:41 PM||#71|
Tryin' to get home..
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Great pictures; thanks for posting.
The observation of the "controlled chaos" traffic and "how to cross the street" remind me (a little) of my business trip in Rome during April 2007. Now I agree Rome traffic is not at all like southeast Asia, but...
My colleague and I rented scooters and rode with the locals; great fun to use any space imaginable to go to the front at intersections; blast off at the green light, elbows up, everyone straining their scooter to the max...
To cross the street step out and keep your pace; riders estimate your future position from your past trajectory and will miss you (unless you stop).
It all made a lot of sense to me...go with the flow.
Coming back to the USA was frustrating.
Other countries/cultures have ways of dealing with "stuff" that are quite successful...it's broadening to see them.
|04-30-2008, 12:58 PM||#72|
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Westside WA
Great pics thanks! Last time there was before they opened VN up for tourism and it was mostly bicycles and only a few bikes and almost no cars. This was 89-90.
Prior to that trip was in 1970 via Uncle Sugars travel Club. funny then was seeing the short white mice(QC/Vietnanmese police)in Saigon at a light on new HD Sportsters.:)
I guess I'm due back again to see if Nha Trang and Vung Tau are still retirement options. Great country/people/food there as in all of SE Asia.
|04-30-2008, 01:22 PM||#73|
'Bikes are OK, but . . .
Joined: Jul 2007
So nice to revisit Viet Nam through your pix, Josh. I was just there in December, but never got to D4. I stayed in D5, on Tran Hung Dao, across from a Co-op Mart, and moved a bit into D1 on Co Bac. Even in D5, I didn't see a round-eye for first three days. Lovely. Then ventured into D1 and presto, western backpackers and families, generally hanging out in the same bar and resto areas (De Tham, Hai Ba Trung, etc.), drinking together just like they would at home. But I didn't mind Saigon Bar on De Tham. More resident expats seem to hang out there.
Mostly I walked the districts in blazing daytime. Felt somehow stickier than Bangkok. Anyway, enough of me. I'll be back in VN in October for a lengthy stay.
BTW, that stairway in the beauty salon is rather steep. Wonder where it goes.
Searching for a new home in Southeast Asia:
|04-30-2008, 02:57 PM||#74|
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: At the keyboard
Great report that brought back many memories
Great photography, and it seems to have not changed much since 1970's.
New word for me: Viet Kieu (returning Vietnamese)...my dental hygeniest is Vietnamese and told me recently that many of her older relatives are returning to Saigon (HCMC) simply due to the crime rates and gangs they are exposed to in USA.
Some good and bad memories:
. In 1971 the scarves were also around the face then to keep out the fumes. Most old scooters, rickshaws, etc smoked like crazy.
. If you did not get out of the way of traffic you could easily get run over.
Crossing a main road was suicide.
. First week in country..I had a weekend off and rode a Vietnamese bus from Bien Wa (sp?) to Saigon. Must have been 40 miles and mid way the bus driver pulled over to the side of the road and all the women got off and went to the right of the bus and took a leak or whatever, and all the local men took care of business on the oppostie site of the bus. (Standard operating procedure).
. When I arrived in Vietnam the vast majority of the locals had never used toilet paper and were facinated that the US troops used it.
. The US Army had a standard issue bra for Mamason's. One size fits all.
. Mamason and most women's dress was black Ao Lai.
. One of the most beautiful women I've ever seen was a mamason (maid) in my quainset hut. Perfect complextion...and a knock-out body. One Friday she had a big zit on her cheek....when she came back on Monday her mother had taken care of the pimple by placing a lit cigarette against it and burned the zit off. The beauty was scared for life from the huge burn mark.
. Prostitues were consistently $2.00, a roll of film developed, or a box of Tide soap, and readily available. Many prostitues were half Vienamese and half French.
. Beer on Army bases was 5 cents a can.
. I found a large percentage of military lifers in Vietnam were also alcoholics, and reuped just for the cheap booze.
. This is weird. But a lot of older women (since most men were off at war) had little flaps of skin hanging from each of their temples, just in front of their ears. After months I finally ask my mamason (maid) what they were. And was told me that people had them due to pinching their temples when they had a headache. Asprin did not exist for them so they felt pinching their temples relieved the headache. People with migranes had 1/2 inch of skin hanging from their temple...no kidding.
. Vietnamese could squat like a duck for hours at a time waiting for a rickshaw or bus. You occasionally see Asians in the USA in the squatting position.
. The majority of the older (60+ yo) population had black teeth from decay and zero dental care.
. When I was there the main form of transportation was the scooter but a close second was the rickshaw (spelling?)., many/most were simply 3 wheeled bicycles.
. Mamasons: I'm pretty sure it was $2.00 a week for washing all clothes (by hand in a bucket), ironing the same, polishing 1 pair of boots, and sweeping out your hut and making your bed every day.
. Mamason daily lunch: (no kidding) Half way clean tin can with about 2 inches of rice, a dead roach on top. Cooking consisted of placing the can, rice, water and roach on a stack of carefully placed rocks above their candle and let the candle cook the rice most of the morning.
. Clothes lines (for hanging GI clothes) for Mamasons were ok until we were hit by a rocket one night and one GI got a broken neck from the clothes line, one had to have major dental work, and several others had bad cuts around the face and neck from tearing into a clothes line while running for a bumker. ..the next day mamason clothes lines were banned.
. We crapped and pissed in a 55 gallon drum with a board (with a hole in it) on top of the 55 gal drum, that would take your breath away.
.Misfits (usually drunks and trouble makers) were assigned permanent duty to haul off and burn the contents of the 55 gal drums.
. In 1971 most Vietnames and Koreans women (many Koreans moved there for the work)...had never had SUGAR to eat. In the morning, they would fill a coffee cup full of sugar, add hot coffee to the cup and eat the sugar with a spoon like ice cream
. No hot water for a year. Showers were brutal at first but you quickly got used to them.
. An 80 yr old Vietnamese women cut our front lawn (at least 1/2 an acre) with a pocket knife (squatting like a duck) for something like $1.00 a day. She never finished the lawn in the yr I was there, it was always growing back....before she could finish it.
. Was surprised that the Army served fried rabbit every Thursday. (was actually just like chicken.)
. I was Miss America's (Phylis George) personally bodyguard for a week while she was there on a USO Tour (special forces, marksman and a gentleman)
...good duty. She ate rabbit just like the rest of us.
. Flares and huey cobra helicopter gun ships were amazing !
And remember: life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
EdOriginal screwed with this post 04-30-2008 at 03:10 PM
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