Day 3 – Sunday 10/11/09
After my Skype session with the Living Newspaper fundraiser, dad took me to the heart of Saigon. After getting some tour information from a local tour agency, we walked around and dad pointed out some of the local sights like the Ben Thanh open air market and the Rex Hotel. Then dad found a bookstore. Game over. I think dad could single handedly stimulate the Vietnamese economy with all the books he buys. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind him buying books, but I’m the one who has to carry them all over Saigon. It gets dark fairly early here, around 5:30pm. By the time 6:30pm rolls by, Saigon lights up like Vegas and the number of motorbikes out on the streets seem to multiply ten fold. As night fell upon us, we made our way to Aunt Mai’s house again. This time something special and unexpected happened.
As we walked by buildings along the Saigon river, dad started pointed out the various places on the path we took when we fled Vietnam in 1975, a day before the war ended. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when dad pointed out the old Naval Command Headquarters where he made the last minute decision to take our family out of Vietnam. “Here is where I left my motorbike” dad said as he pointed to a cement slab on the edge of the Saigon river. After taking our family from our house to the river via his beloved motorbike, this is was the place where he would ditch it forever to take passage on a boat that would take us out to meet up with the US Seventh fleet that would ultimately lead us to America.