Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vietnam -- R&R Trip #2

One of the things you do best is not do the things that didn't work on the first trip but do the things that did.

Not only does it save you money, it saves you time and effort. Expo 70 -- held in  Suita, Osaka, Japan, ran from March 15 and September 13, 1970.

Planning a second trip there so that I could see the 5th Dimension perform at the Expo was pretty much a suicide mission. Why?

Well for one thing, the Expo was going to end one month later, summer crowds would increase the amount of people seeing the Expo and many tourist would be there from all over the world.

This meant that the Plaza International Hotel would be booked -- as well as almost every other place.

Bottom line, either you had booked a hotel in advanced or, if you were an American from Vietnam, you slept on one of the park seats.

That was the picture you painted yourself into if you wanted to see the Expo and it wasn't pretty.

That is, unless you were me.

I had already been invited to stay with the folks at the Canadian Pavilion, so half the battle had been won.

Upon arrival at the Expo, I went over to the Canadian Pavilion and told my friend there was no place to stay and he knew that was true. So, he did good on his offer and I stayed the entire time over where the Canadians called their home away from home.

The place where they let me sleep was typical of Japanese style, sliding doors with a bed in the middle of the floor. I also noticed two jars with a white, creamy substance in them. Didn't take me long to add 2+2.

The only reason why they had invited me over was because they knew I would nevery take them up on it and this room was where they had bets going on how many girls they could have sex with while they were there. Basically, see which one could fill up the sperm jar the fastest.

I stopped thinking about it and went to sleep.

Next day, I walked over to the Expo and watched the 5th Dimension. They were fun to watch. But they made one mistake.  I think they thought no one knew were the Plaza International was located because they kept mentioning that as the place where they were staying.

Next day, I was at the Plaza and sure enough the members of the group were sprinkled about.
I took pictures of Florence LaRue and Ron Townson outside and Lamonte McLemore inside and down stairs at a camera shop.

Marilyn McCoo was photographed at the end of the last show signing her name to the one of the show posters. We had a conversation.

"That was a great show, much better than on wednesday."

"Yes," she said laughing, "That's because we were half drunk."

I could tell she was from the east coast.

"So, where are you from?"


"Me, too, Moorestown. But right now, I'm over in Vietnam"

"Well, if you're ever around in New Brunswick, give me a call."

I was starting to get used to empty words.

I went outside to catch Billy Davis, Jr. He walked passed me.

"Mind if I take your picture?"

"No, no, no. No picture."

"Well that bites. A Vietnam solider can't get a photography of the famous Billy Davids Jr."

Billy turned around sharply -- I thought he was going to hit me -- and smiled.

I considered that mental picture to be the best I took.

I did get in a bit of trouble with the folks at the Canadian Pavilion when I spoted someone I knew sleeping on a park bench and suggested that he talk with my buddy. This was taken the wrong way.  I never told my friend to ask them for a place to stay. I simply asked him to to talk with my buddy in hopes they would know where he could stay.

Once cleared up, my buddy at the Canadian Pavilion settled down and actually helped me get a ride back up to Camp Zama.

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