The Vietnam refugees

Yesterday I met a man who had a very intriguing story that I would like to share. He explained me how he escaped Vietnam. The story starts in 1975, the end of the Vietnam war when Saigon was captured. The north was getting more and more influence. People in the south now had to deal with a communist ideology. Just like many other southern Vietnamese people, he didn’t like it. He was afraid and lurking for freedom. So he decided to flee the country. But only three years after that, in 1978, he left Vietnam in a really small boat that had the length of a normal living room. The boat carried 16 people: 4 men, 4 women and 8 children and its destination was unknown. The stowaways were floating and surrendering on the wild Pacific Ocean for 17 consecutive nights. Until they stumbled across a Thai fishing vessel. If they didn’t follow this life-saving ship, they all would have been drowning to death. And eventually, hundred thousands of Vietnamese died like that in fact. So the group was then escorted to the Bangkok port area. They all hid in the small boat to wait the perfect moment to flee. When there were no roaring sounds anymore, they did it. And that’s how he reached the refugee camp. Thailand has a good spirit, and so after some time the United Nations came in between. What was left then was a form that needed to be filled in stating the reason of departure: no freedom — he also jokingly added that they wouldn’t give you amnesty if you didn’t like your countries’ food. And so he became an American and together with the other 17 refugees, he survived.

A story that touched me a lot. I can’t help but think how easy my life is. This man had to escape his country under devastating circumstances. He had almost no other choice, but made the right decision and it changed his life. Now we have opportunities to go abroad. But what if there is no way out, and you decide to burn yourself in flames? What does a man make a suicide bomber?

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