Disability. A Vietnam Story.
Danang, Jan.2002. Vietnam has become a nation of salesmen of all kinds. Sometimes a person will try to be a friend but has another agenda. Most times I don't much like these folks but I do understand that they are only trying to survive as best they can. While walking by the river a young man on a bike stops next to me. He makes a sound "anh". He writes in a note book that he can't speak or hear in english. He says that I was a U.S. Marine during the war. I write he is correct. We write small talk, how long I've been in Vietnam and so on. Then he asks what hotel I'm staying in and I tell him. I also tell him if he is looking for money he is wasting his time. He does not look poor. The next day he is waiting for me outside the hotel. We write small talk again, where is the tour going today and so on. I really enjoy talking to him and I like him. He is very smart. Then he asks for money. I say "No"! He says that he has a disability. But I write him that I think that he has overcome his disability and that everyone has a disability of some kind. He asks about America. Could he go to college there. I said yes but we have a saying "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence". The next morning he is waiting outside the hotel again. I tell him we are leaving for Hue in a few minutes. We talk for a while and then he asks for money again. I want to give him some but still I think it is the wrong thing to do. He is too smart to make a living begging. So I say no again. He gave me a look with his eyes. It is a look of hate. But I don't believe that he hates me. It is just a last try for money. I write him that I wish him well and that I have enjoyed talking to him. We shake hands warmly. I hope he will use his brain for better things and I won't forget him......... Jim
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