Tour of duty,Vietnam 2008
Me and my best friend in
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok. January 2008. Im ready ! Locked an loaded,destination Ho Chi Minh City or in my own word Saigon,Vietnam. Ticket says " Airfrance from Paris,France stopover in Bangkok to vietnam. Im a bit nerveous, sofar no airplane at all, time goes on,still noone. Offcource we are delayed, we had to its Airfrance,an aircompany with an reputation of being delayed.
Finally it arrived,people leaving like small insects,and we can finally board the plane.
Ít seems like hours before we finally arrive to vietnam, Im a bit scary and happy too, scary how Vietnam had changed during the time I had been away,does anyone need my help at all,whats the conditions on my amerasian friends,to many questions in my mind. But same time happy that I had to meet the people that I love and care so much for and meeting my friend Hung too.
Never had the view of an foreign airport made me feel so good,wonderfull like being home.
Passing though the usally passport control, visas and luggage check. I could leave the airport and enter the Vietnamese reality.
My friend was suppose to pick me up in the airport,but since I was so late,he gave up and waited for me at the hotel.
Seing my old friend made me feeling much better,and alive.
Since I was so late I lost the weeding party,I was invited to. But we went out to visit my amerasian friend Nhung,
who I knew for many years. She is the
ONE if you want to meet amerasians
since she she knows so many.
Nhung were in her amerasian friend Mai's house,and with her many amer-
asians, it was an shock to me, I hadn't seing so many amerasians in many years.
Experience took over,and I started interviews with amerasians,did more than 10 the first day.
Tired after day 1, I headed up for my hotel and slept like an dead.
Day 2. My friend had his normail Job to do,so I was on my own. On my own doesn't have to be a bad things,when you're in Vietnam. So I went back in to central Saigon and back in to my own past,an journey that takes me physicaly and emotionally back 16 years ago, a stoneage to me.
Amerasian park. The small park area around the Freanch cathedral and near the former ODP office,where all the amerasians use to waite, for getting an interview,passing an interview or simple just hang around,hope for an better future.
Walking though that area looking at the now closed ODP office brought back so many memories, good and back,and make me sad in many ways.
I missed my amerasian friends from the past that I knew. Memories of their faces and voices passing by my mind, my god, I wished they were here,but same time at least most of them are in their fatherland USA.
Day turned in to evening,and my friend took me back to Mai's house for more interviews with many more amerasians,all eager to meet me, telling their life story.
On day 3 I went out for an little birthday party with some amerasian friends,after the part was over me and my friend Hung went by the old Amerasian Transit Center in Damn Senh,outside at the old gate was a bunch of amerasians,they were just meeting and talking.
Being so fortune to meet new amera-
sians, we asked them to join us in a cafe shop.
So in the middle of the hot night we sad down,when more and more new amerasians came by,it was like an dream coming though.
The next day we drove to the amerasi-
an house. An house paid by an amer-
asian in USA, it served as an meeting place and for some amerasians a place to live too,like an shelter.
We were greeted by an crowd of amerasians, ready with papers,old photos and any other evidence of fatherhood and past history. It beacme very late before we finished our meeting.
Days passing by fast,and I had to stick to my plans an leave for Nha Trang. In
( To be continued ........ )