Even up to this day, in my soon to be 20 year old self, I still can’t get enough of old stories. From the ones coming from my parents and grandparents, stories are stories, period. I like word of mouth history from people I know. One of the stories I love are the Vietnam War stories. It was from 1967-1968, when my grandfather worked in Vietnam. It would take me years to finish an entry regarding Vietnam if I will narrate everything, so let me just point it out in numbered form.
1. There was a story circulating in So Van Han (I’m not sure of the spelling but it’s pronounced as So-Yan-Han) that when Ngo Din Diem, the puppet president of US to South Vietnam, was murdered; there was a Filipino involved in the murder.
The murder happened when a coup toppled the Diem regime. It was according to accounts that he was taken to the villa in So Van Han and later murdered. The US pulled of support from the Diem regime because of its declining popularity among the South Vietnamese people.
2. The underground tunnels are common among people’s homes.
3. Before the Tet offensive came, numerous funerals occurred. It was believed as one of the ways to smuggle arms into the city. Coffins were filled with guns, mortars etc.
4. Tet offensive happened during the Chinese Lunar New Year (Tet). At first, sporadic explosions of firecrackers were heard but as the celebration went on, it was the music of guns and mortars that were heard. Officially the start of Tet Offensive.
I can’t remember every detail of the bits and pieces, so there you have it.
Another of my favorites were the Tales from Angola. My grandfather worked here for 10 years (1979-89). Angola was a colony of Portugal. It was during the 70’s when the internationalist efforts of Cuba helped in liberating Angola and Mozambique from colonial powers of Portugal. The workers party of Angola, MPLA (more commonly called by its people as “Mapla”), gained control of the country and headed towards socialism. So I’m going to enumerate bits of facts about Angola that I remember:
Note: Bits and pieces I’m going to enumerate are in the context of 1979-89
1. Angola being a socialist country runs to the idea of “Each according to his needs and his capacity to produce”. If you work your ass off and you get promoted and given bigger responsibilities, the bigger your ration will be(Each according to his capability to produce). Two people having same occupation, but the other has a family, the one with a family gets a slightly bigger share (Each according to his needs).
2. There are no Blood Diamonds in Angola as portrayed in movies happening in Africa. The essential industries are all state owned giving no chance for profit driven kingpins to run the show.
3. Ali is also big in Angola, He fought George Forman in Congo a bordering country of Angola.
4. Some remnant cannibals run to Zaire.
5. Right to till the land is given permission by the government. There are cases when the government doesn’t allow people to till the land if its near diamond mines, since diamonds can possibly be excavated.
6. Money is nothing but for luxuries. You have everything you need in your ration and education is free.
7. Since it was in a time when glasnost is fast approaching, leaders are corrupt. They have long gone submitted to revisionism of their ideals. President Dos Santos is like a rapper with gems in all of his fingers.
8. Cubans in Angola are really gentlemen.
9. UNITA is a counter-revolutionary group funded by the CIA.
I guess that’s it.