My First Night In Bangkok: 28 June 1973

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 I had accomplished Basal Training , and was about done with my ancestry at Avant-garde Alone Training (AIT), if I accustomed orders to Bangkok, Thailand. I had to go to the library and get out a Civic Geographic annual to attending it up. I had consistently abstruse that it was alleged Siam.



When I accomplished AIT, I went home on leave for a few weeks, had a adieu party, and headed out for the abstruse Orient. Additional than visiting bound towns in Canada and Mexico, it would be my first time abroad from home and in a adopted country.



I flew from Michigan to California and rode a bus to Travis Air Force base. I waited all night to bolt a 4 AM flight on Aerial Tiger Airlines. We flew on this adapted burden even to our next stop, Hawaii. A few hours on the arena at Hickam Air Force abject and off we went.



Landed at Guam about 9 hours after and then it was time to yield off again; this time for the Philippines. Addition breakfast and it was on to Okinawa. A abbreviate flight to Vietnam and assuredly landed in Bangkok. It took about 24 hours and 6 breakfasts to get there.



My sponsor met me at Don Muang Airport and took me out to a cat-and-mouse van. The first affair I noticed was that the council caster was on the wrong, or other, ancillary of the vehicle. And we were active on the amiss ancillary of the alley too.



My sponsor approved to acquaint me a actor things about the Acreage of Smiles and my new job, but I was too annoyed and jet-lagged to accept anything. Additional the disciplinarian was now on the accept of the advancing cartage lane, accomplishing about 140 KPH. Fearing for my activity was added important than aggravating to accept what my plan agenda was traveling to be.



After about 45 minutes, we accustomed at the Army billeting; my new home. It was alleged Alcazar Club and consisted of about 10, 2-story buildings, apartment about 75 aggressive personnel. We all had clandestine apartment with maid account and air-conditioning. And we all had lizards on the walls and ceilings. Advancing from Michigan, I had no abstraction what geckos were and wasnt too blessed to see them all over the place.



My sponsor asked me if I capital to go out for a chaw of aliment and a beer and I bound got out of my Chic "A" uniform, showered and put on some jeans and a T-shirt. I dumped all my belongings, one duffle bag full, on the attic and off we went to a abode alleged Patpong.



Patpong is a artery in Bangkok and aback in 1973 it was carpeting confined and beating parlors. My sponsor had a adherent at one of the confined and that is area he took me. I had a sandwich and a few beers and we went aback to his accommodation with a few of the girls.



His room-mate came home, bashed as a skunk, and didnt understand who I was but affective me by the throat and threatened to annihilate me. He eventually calmed down and anesthetized out. I spent the blow of the night apprehensive what I had gotten myself into.



I had a brace added drinks and then it was time to get showered, dressed and accessible to address for assignment at my first assignment station.



With no beddy-bye for about 4 days, I looked a complete wreck. The Baker Above took one attending at me, affective my cadre and medical annal and beatific me home and told me to appear aback on Monday. It was alone Wednesday, so I had a few canicule to ameliorate and slept alotof of it away.

 

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Article In : World Affairs  -  World Affairs