138 rue de bonheur

Everything Happens for a Reason


Hey remember Charles Thomas Bailey?  Well I ran into him on a Seabee Construction site outside of Danang one day and both of us were excited to see each other. He gave me his Barracks # in camp Tien Shaw and I said I would stop by tonight after ten pm. which I did. We sat outside for about two hours in the dark and talk about what we each had been up to since we got “In Country”. He was making arrangements to go on R&R to  Kong next month and suggested I come along. I told him I would.

Since work here was a 24/7 arrangement  the Government made available one week trips available to service men every 90 days. All that was required was two weeks notice and at least $50.00 bucks in your pocket. Transportation was by Commercial Airlines who volunteered their time, planes and employees. Rooms at various Hotels in the city you signed up for were paid by the Government. Places offered where ,Perth Australia, Kuwalampour Malaysia, Hawaii, Bangkok and Hong Kong. We were booked at the Park Hotel in Hong Kong and it was First Class. I remember when I entered the Hotel thru the revolving doors I had to walk about 50 feet to the Front Desk and in that distance I was Measured for two Suits by different tailors and propositioned by three Ladies for the week stay.(I think they were employees of the Hotel). I opted for the Suit!

Hong Kong lived up to it’s History as a melting pot for Mystery  espionage, and excitement. The Movie “Soldier of Fortune” with Clark Gable was a good interpretation of Hong Kongs Intrigue which seems to be present everywhere one looks.(Maybe my imagination). My plan was to see everything I saw in the Movies and do everything that was shown in the Movies. Tom’s plan was to have a drink in every bar he could find, therefore  we were never together much while in Hong Kong. I rode the Ferry from Hong Kong to Kowloon for a dime, saw ships from all over the world, went to the Temples, the Gardens and even stopped in front of the Red Chinese Embassy and looked at the writings of Mao ta Sung (sp). One day I made the trip up to the Tram that rose from the Harbor up to the top of Victoria Mountain that was in the Movie “Solider of Fortune” bought a ticket and rode it to the top. It started down by landings of Hong Kong of Victoria Harbor  and climbed along several Hanging Gardens, the ruins of old Forts the British had there, shear cliffs of rock and ending up on top of Victoria peak where wonderful Gardens and fancy Restaurants were abundant.

It was while I was up on Victoria’s peak that I met a British Soldier there. he was fascinating to talk to and I’m sure he felt the same way about me as we would ask each other about our lives growing up in different countries and doing things for fun.  He invited me back to his Barracks on Kowloon and we went into their version of Enlisted Mens Pup. He drank a Stout Beer with lemon Juice squeezed in it, and I introduced him to a Beer with Tomato Juice poured in it.  I enjoyed my day with him.

The next day the both of us took the train from Kowloon to the New Territories to see the the country side of China. It was beautiful and at the end of the ride we had to get off as the train continued into the Red Chinese province of Macao, and neither of us had papers allowing us to cross over the border, so we stood there looking into Red China and waved at the Red Chinese guards on the other side of the Double fence and they waved back at us. How neat!

Hong Kong was and still is a Beautiful City. I consumed a lot of Oriental Food and drank a lot of different beers, non of which I liked. American food was available there. You just had to look for it. Tom and I did get together each night we were there thru an agreement to meet in the Penthouse Lounge of the Park Hotel at Midnight to each talk about what the other had done that day. The week went fast there on R&R in Hong Kong and soon it was time to go back to Vietnam with my new suit from Lee Tailors of Hong Kong.


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