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THE REATTA LOUNGE


Ronnie

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On 1/19/2024 at 5:44 AM, Ronnie said:

I was being a little sarcastic. Tim came home with a badly infected leg caused the punji sticks in about 1972. Hope you are having a great time on your vacation.

Just now leaving Saigon for a 3 day stay in Bangkok, then home. Saw a lot in Vietnam. 

 Saw Hanoi Hilton but all the American cells were tore down. They talked mostly about the French occupation and little about our soldiers incarceration

 There were propaganda pictures of happy soldiers getting physicals, playing volleyball and basketball.

 Saigon we saw the tunnels the North Vietnam soldiers used and the various traps they used to injure US soldiers. Was very interesting, and gave me a new appreciation for those that came and served.

 Also saw the killing fields of Penhm Pehm.

 Walked away thinking how can people be so cruel to each other..

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As I mentioned before, my brother (only one year younger than me) served two tours in Viet Nam from 1970 thru 1973 via courtesy of the US Army.  He saw way too much and came back never the same as before he went.

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Because of the population of the various cities Saigon, Bangkok that are a tremendous amount of motor bikes and few cars. New cars have sales tax of 125% or more. We were told Lexus SUVs would cost close to $200,000. because of the tax. So we routinely would see families of 3,4 and even 5 on a motor bike. All riders are required to have helmets but because so many would be on a bike only the parents would wear them because of the lack of "head" room.

 

Also bikers would go between cars, violate the few traffic lights, go the wrong way on a one way, go down sidewalks to avoid traffic. Really kind of wild. No one would be aggressive, everyone would allow for everyone else and watching everyone cars included blend into roundabouts were something to see. 

 

We were in a bus so we just took the space we needed and everyone made allowances with the occasional "toot" of the horn to let them know they were there.

 

When we went on the river we rode in what I would call long boats that would hold up to 6 passengers. These boats were equipped with turbo 4 cylinder engines mounted on a swivel with the automotive transmission still mounted on the engine. The drive shaft would end with a boat propeller.

 

This engine being on a swivel would allow the operator to turn the boat and by raising or lowering the propellor go forward  or reverse. The "shifter was on the control arm and they could shift from forward, nuetral, or reverse. I sent a picture over to 2Seater so you can get an idea.

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How was the "atmosphere" towards Americans by local citizenship in each country?

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Actually every country was very receptive, even North Vietnam. We were invited to a school in Cambodia that concentrated on teaching kids English and it was a source of pride for a student for one of our group to sit with them. My wife bought a 10 pack of scratch pads with a colorful cover to give away. You would of thought that we gave them $100.00 they were so appreciative. They would read to us in English. 

 Even the adults were friendly and would say Hi and allow us to take pictures. Part of our tour was to go into small villages to see how they made things [scarfs, blankets and also jewelry] and of course then to buy things. We also got to tour more then one house both the average house and then a "higher" income house. 

 These countries are still low income, especially the rural farm areas. 

 

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Oh and another thing. We call it the "Vietnam War" they call it the "American War".

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