Cu Chi Tunnels

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This morning we woke up and got ready. I flattened my hair. I don’t know why I bother since the moment I walk out into the humidity it frizzes right up.

We go to Circle K (literally one every 50 yards) and get some snacks for our outing today. We buy some pastries from an old lady sitting outside our guesthouse. 2 had meat in them and were not so tasty but the others were like a mango coconut mini pie. They were yummy!!!

Then our tour guide arrived to take us out to the Cu Chi Tunnels. 50km outside of HCMC. This is an enlarged and upgraded network of tunnels used during the Vietnam War. They had to enlarge them for Westerners to fit through them.

Our tour group consisted of us, an American man from Sacramento and his Thai wife, a young Filipino couple, 2 girls from somewhere that barely spoke English, and 3 guys from Poland. The American guy seemed pretty liberal. He dodged the draft and owned an insurance company prior to moving to Thailand. So he was no where near offended as I was. I actually don’t think he was offended at all.

It was all I could do to not say something rude when they kept laughing at how they out smarted and killed all the evil bomb dropping baby killing Americans. The tour guides actually thought it all was amusing.

How their war heroes guerrilla tactics outsmarted and won them the war. I wanted to ask them why they thought we were there. Do they think their lives are better since they had loss to the U.S. Did the really believe that communism was better than freedom? Do they even have ideas of their own or just what their communist education has taught them.

I had to take a step back and detach myself mentally that these were my fellow soldiers they were discussing. I had to just look at this as a museum on guerrilla tactics. Or survival in a tunnel system which is pretty amazing that an entire village would go into the tunnels and live for 90 days at a time.

There were 100 meters of tunnels to crawl through. Sierra and I were the only 2 from our group to complete them. Most tourists only do the first 20 meters. We could probably have gone all day in the tunnels. It was hot and tight but not unbearable.

After we got out of the tunnels we were given a snack of yams and tea. All they had to eat after everything was loss to the bombings. A fun thing to watch at the museum was how they make rice paper. Which I use often to make spring rolls. They also showed us how they make rice wine. Which is what the soldiers all drank, “liquid courage “!

It’s interesting to see something from another’s perspective but it should be sobering. Life was loss on both sides. It was a horrific war. It shouldn’t be seen as humorous in anyway. And that is what angered me the most.

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