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Just a Note and a Travel Announcement

Written by Jeff Drake
1 · 19 · 23

Hi Folks!

It’s been a while since I posted anything, sorry about that. (I like to pretend that it might matter to someone out there 😊). I haven’t been idle, however. You see, I have fallen down another rabbit hole, this one involving a topic that I foolishly thought I knew something about.

I spent a lifetime, really, in a profession that was all about this particular topic. When I think about it, I was immersed in the topic for 28 years and proudly made a name for myself doing the work. So, it has led to some head scratching on my part when I started seeing video after video, article after article, about how a group of well-known physicists is telling us that now, when it comes to fundamental physics – you know, the very bedrocky, low-level “stuff” that makes up the reality we all know and love — involving familiar things like atoms, electrons, particles and stuff – well, they say we should just “Fuhgeddaboudit!”

Atoms, quarks, protons etc., are not where the bottom of reality lies. Nope. They say there is something much more fundamental: “Information.” When I saw and read this, I thought, “Uh, say what?” Then, after reading about it, I reacted like a typical long-haired, leaping gnome, because “This really blew my mind!” The truth is that I really don’t know what they are talking about… yet.

The news got me excited and my gut said, “I think there’s a sense of truth about this.” So, down the rabbithole I went. Since then I have been consuming as much information about information (LOL) as I could get as I try to grapple with this subject. I thought it would be easy. Ha! It’s not, believe me. But, I can tell you this, I’m going to figure it out! So, expect a future post or two on the topic.

The other thing that has been occupying my time lately is that another international adventure is about to happen to Lisa and me. We’re heading back to a place we last visited in 2007. For me this will be the third visit as I once spent 19 months on top of a mountain in this country. Yep, I’m happy to announce that we’re heading back to Vietnam!

We leave on February 3rd and the clock has been ticking so very fast lately, the day will be here soon. And we are really excited! In 2007 we visited Vietnam on our own and only saw a few places. On this trip we’re covering the entire country, starting in what used to be North Vietnam and we’ll be in the country 28 days. Wow!

I have to say that thinking about going to North Vietnam is kind of surreal for me.

I’ll talk more about this trip and our itinerary in another post. For now, I’ll just mention that we are going with a familiar tour company: Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT). This will be our 8th tour with them. The Vietnam tour has a very high favorability rating, so we are hopeful the trip will be everything it’s cracked up to be.

Our trip includes a lot of interaction with the locals, which is standard OAT fare, of course. What this means though, is that there are at least two events where we will be sitting down, talking and eating, with former North Vietnamese soldiers (NVA) and Viet Cong guerrillas. We’ll have a hosted meal with a former NVA commander in North Vietnam and in what used to be South Vietnam we’ll meet with a group of former Viet Cong, for a question and answer session. They will tell us about whether they feel winning the war has worked out for them. Believe it or not, there’s apparently a lot of former guerrillas who aren’t happy with the results of their civil war. Interestingly, I can say that the South Vietnamese ARVNs who got left behind, feel similarly.

I didn’t realize until tonight, as I looked at the calendar and saw February 3rd looming before my eyes, that the thought of meeting former NVA and Viet Cong is weighing a bit on my mind. I know, of course, that the war I was involved in is now 50 years in the past. And with the help of family and friends, I’ve made great progress dealing with my own PTSD in that time. In this, I’m lucky. Still, I think about the fact that 50 years ago, the NVA and guerrillas I’m going to meet are people, or should I say, prey, that I once actively hunted. And they, me. So, yeah, it’s kind of weird.

There’s even a little piece of me that feels like maybe I’m going to somehow dishonor our war dead by meeting with them. But, I’m going to bury this particular feeling and do what I know I need to do: move on. After all, the past is gone. The war is over. If anything, I should (but won’t) apologize to them on behalf of our government. The USA might have lost the military war, but we won the economic war, in spades. As a result, Vietnam is still struggling these many years after the war. War, the gift that keeps on giving.

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1 Comment

  1. Kathleen Treb

    I hope you have lots of fun and continue to heal!!!!


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Jeff Drake

Retired IT consultant, world-traveler, hobby photographer, and philosopher.
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