Be warnedthat this is a second attempt to frame the thoughts that were lost with a defective keyboard mentioned in a priormessage.
First, I want to follow up on my depressing air quality missive. I got a reply from our foreman, who was at Bin Hoa airbase in 1969, and he told me that then, the air in vietnam was clearer and bluer, that the air at home. Thank goodness for the clean air efforts of the last 35 years, and let's hope to hell the environmental laws aren't weakened like some would wish.
Cats: There's a fair number of cats here. They all are skinny as a rail like tropical cats all seem to be. They look like close cousins to Siamese cats except that they have a normal variety of catlike pattern, tabby, calico, whatever. In the countryside they are utility animals, rice protectors if you will. We got puzzlingly smiling responses when we asked what the cat's name was of a few people; the notion of naming a cat, or calling it anything but cat is amusing and definitely viewed as strange. There never seemsto be any kind of overpopulation of cats, I think that kitten mortality and limited food resources take care of that. We did actually run into a cat that had been bought when we were on an outlying island in Bai Tu Long Bay. This was an all black cat, and I was told that it was "very expensive". It is common knowledge that there is some organ in black cats (this didn't translate very well, so I don't know what organ) that is the best medicine for serious eye problems. This cat, mind you is 7 years old. Probably the only cat around who's age is actually known. Unbenownst to the cat, it is waiting for someone in the family to have an eye problem, and then.... I don't know what will happen if there are no problems, do you let the cat just get old and decrepit, or harvest it?