“Come on Alfie! Hurry up! ” yelled Terry, a short pot-bellied chap with a glistening bald head and exaggerated sideburns that passed his ears. This is the guy I would be working on a project with for some time. “We’re gonna miss this goddam plane if you don’t get a move on! ” “Alright, Alright I’m coming! ” I bellowed back. There I was, roughly 15 hours away from a place that half the earth’s population couldn’t even begin to imagine what it feels like to live there. “God dammit Alfie! If you don’t keep up we are seriously going to miss this plane!
” at that moment I felt like dropping my luggage and running five miles in the opposite direction, but I knew it was too late for that; the flight was paid for and the contract was signed. Why didn’t Terry feel distressed like me at the thought of the danger ahead? Why wasn’t he feeling any guilt? Keep going Alfie I thought to myself it’s no big deal, just get it done and take the money, it’ll be over in a few weeks, then you can go back to your normal life. We proceeded to board the plane. I decided, after some time, a short nap would help take my mind off it. “Alfie…… Alfie……..
wake up, we’re here! ” I slowly opened my eyes and peered through the window of the plane. We had landed. What felt like an hour’s nap turned out to be a fifteen hour slumber. I stood up feeling very unbalanced, my head was throbbing. I began to think about all the different people I would meet over the next three weeks, and how I was ever going to get through it and complete the task in hand. It was a steamy Thursday evening and after a long and bumpy ride in a worn out taxi, we arrived at a hotel in Saigon. Both Terry and I were pouring with sweat and threw our bags onto our beds.
The apartment wasn’t very clean, the walls were murky green in colour and all it contained were two uncomfortable steel framed beds and a shared bathroom along the hallway. “Right, I’m turning in, I’m guessing your not that tired after the plane journey here. ” Terry said whilst plumping his pillow. “Yeah, I’m gonna go down to the bar for a bit. ” I said. “Alright then, see you tomorrow nice and early, night Alf. ” Terry said sleepily. “Yeah… night. ” I replied Whilst I descended the stairs, the noise of excited GI’s grew closer. I walked over and sat at the bar.
They went quiet for a moment. “Hey mate! You don’t look like you’re from round here, where you from? ” “New York. ” I answered. “You don’t look like a GI… what’s your business in Vietnam? ” grunted a second GI. “I’m a photographer. ” I said “Gonna be flying somewhere near Hanoi early tomorrow morning, what’s it to you anyways? ” “I ain’t asking for no trouble, just asking alright? ” he answered “Yeah… sorry, what’s been going on today then? ” I asked “Well we’ve just got back from Dien Bien Phu, which is on the border of North Vietnam.