On a balmy evening by the shore of a lake in the centre of Hanoi, we sat enraptured as Su-Su sang to us, just the two of us. Meanwhile, in the red glow from a nearby floodlit Buddhist temple, couples sedately practised their newly acquired ballroom dance steps. Strictly Vietnam.
We imagined Su-Su thought we were a couple, as two middle-aged men together on holiday could only be. In fact, I’d gone to Vietnam with one of my oldest friends: Jimmy, an Australian who has written books about Aussie ‘Tunnel Rat’ troops in the Vietnam war, and organised several tours for veterans.
But really, this was just a pair of old hacks on an adventure without our womenfolk, fired up by a rereading of The Quiet American. We sought our inner Graham Greene, but after much beer-fuelled analysis of old England versus Australia Test matches, we settled for our inner Graham Gooch.
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