Rod McLaughlin


To Pleiku over the Mang Yang pass (25 mar 18)

It wasn't as hard as it was for the French army in 1954!  

It was about 10% steep, and I think I only stopped once - to drink water. At the top, I found a cafe with the ubiquitous sports drink "Revive". Then it was rolling hills and rivers all the way to Pleiku. This city is completely different to anywhere else I've been in Vietnam.

For example, it has a restaurant that I thought was too posh for me to go in. Not because of the cost, but because I don't have any formal clothes with me. It's the "Century" restaurant, which does "European food". It has Greek statues and lots of expensive cars outside. 

The place next door looked promising, but wasn't. Then when I got back to the motel I found there are dozens of outdoor food carts near it, barbecuing all manner of food. I'll eat there tonight.

Pleiku is modern. I'm staying in the Bảo Trân motel, which is really nice, and so is the family which runs it. Hardwood floors, comfortable beds, clean bathrooms. 

Lots of misunderstandings re food.  You need to know the accents and pronunciation. I'm going to do an online lesson tomorrow. 

Talking of military disasters, I'm reading about one of the greatest in military history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ban_Me_Thuot.

I'm going to follow the route of the catastrophic collapse of the South Vietnamese armed forces in 1975, as well as that of the French in 1954.

 

 



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