Sunday, February 06, 2005


Viet-nam, that is.

This place just reeks of war. It's in the air and you can just smell it, it is so ripe. Some of it has even become tourist attractions. And as a dutiful tourist...

Cu-Chi. This place just near Saigon is where some of the fiercest fighting took place. During the war 8 million tons of bombs fell on this small country and many of them on this resilient place. An the evidence is apperent. There are massive craters left by the b-52 bombers. Footprints of a giant. The National Front for Liberation, vietcong (vietnamese communist) as they were named by their enemies, built a system of tunnels here.

After visiting this place it is easy to see that the vietcong had a huge psychological advantage over any enemy. They lived in a system of tunnels. These small, dark burrows deep in the ground were where the vietcong lived with the support of the people. Even the bravest soldier couldn't be blamed for not following into these tunnels. This place is full of horrible booby and landmines made from the bombs of their enemies. And enemies who passed too noisily had to worry about being devestaed by guerillas who would emerge from the ground .

This place was ripe with war, horrible war and the lifestyle of the vietcong had to fit...getting rid of the smoke from cooking without being detected, the "food" they ate for months and years, the bathrooms, the many 2x2x2 holes in the ground that served as one man bomb shelters, the clothes they wore. All this, not to mention a foreign enemy having to deal with the heat, malarial mosquitoes, and monsoon rain. The shear dedication to a cause was enough to scare the pants off me.

The realization that our tour guide who visited this place day after day was probably the age of an average soldier during this dehumanization of south vietnam really turned my brain.

No comments: