Saigon Zoo

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. Guest

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    nighthawk
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    (7/29/01 11:52:21 pm)
    | Del All Saigon Zoo
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    On a previous post, Hope asked me about the Saigon Zoo. My trip there was a memorible time for me. First, a little background. Data processing units in the Army in those days were very small and most people ran into each other all around the world. There were less than 750 of us in the active army in 1969. The point being, when I got to Saigon, 2 very good friends I had served with in Germany came to see me. One later got transferred down to my unit from the "Metrical for lunch bunch". (for the unknowing, that was the Americal Div. out of Chu Lai). When the 3 of us got together, it was like old home week. The first night, we tore up the Enlisted Club at MACV, then the next day did a grand tour of beautiful downtown Saigon.
    The photos I have posted were mostly taken that day.
    I had to take a day of in-country R&R (something perhaps only us REMFs were allowed to do,,not sure,,,the one day at a time thing). The 3 of us hit the city about 1000 hours, armed with cameras, lots of smokes, and for some reason,each carried a quart of 100 proof Shmirnoff's . I do not have the slightest clue why we were carrying that, as I don't really care for vodka. Perhaps that was all that was availible. I don't really remember.
    We took a cab to my regular watering hole, had a few drinks there, then proceeded on downtown. We walked around the infamous To Do street (a street that never closed, even after curfew). We then hired 2 cyclos to "show us the town". We went to the (I think:D uc Ba??) Cathedral, walked through some fairley nice gardens (where we picked up the leeches), wandered thru the zoo,(not a lot of animals, but I was suprised how well they were taken care of). We got to talk a bit with one of the main caretakers, a hell of a nice guy. He had no desire to take sides in the war, just wanted to take care of "his" animals.
    I think the temperature and the humidity were both up around 90. Picture 3 dinky-dau GIs riding around in the hot sun, sucking on bottles of 100 proof vodka!! Plus stoping every so often for a cold "33"
    We did allright for most of the day. We saw most of the niceer things in Saigon. Believe it or not, when you shut out why you were there, the city was a very beautiful place. It was easy to see (from what I remember thru my drunken haze) why, before the war (WWII), Saigon was called the "Paris of the Orient".
    Needless to say, by the time the sun went down, we were ready to do likewise. We got rooms at a hotel, had a few more "33"s (the vodka was gone), and crashed for the night. The hotel guy could not believe we did not want "Boom Boom girl". Hell, as drunk as we were, it would have been a total waste of money and time,,,lol,,my money and her time,,. My pals went back to their units the next day. I had to go back to work. Man, what a hangover!!!
    We did get to have a great reunion, saw a lovely city, met some wonderful people, and ended up with some fantastic memories. And I guess that is what life is all about.


    Stan H,,,nighthawk


    Edited by: Indybear57 at: 7/30/01 10:43:10 am
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