The invisible man

February 26, 2018

Some people come and…of course they move on right on. But some. The exceptionally few. They simply disappear into thin air.

It is the lives and histories of these people who have always intrigued me.

It is as if the people who wordsmith the stories of these invisible folk dont want others to read it.

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‘If you ask me where is the most civilised place in Asia. I would have to say Saigon circa 1972. It was hardly just a place, rather it was very much an attempt by the nostalgic French to preserve whatever remnants of influence they still had over indochina.

In the evenings they sipped blue caracoa aperitifs on the streets of saigon they were content to name Le Cercle Sportif….boulevard Norodom….Quai De L’Argonne.

They the colonial french gave birth to the word, ‘Occidental’ which they much preferred to that other word their British imperialist were content to term eurasians. The former suggested that love and affection had something to do with it…presumably in the way one prefers ice with whisky on a hot evening.

It’s very hard to say what would really endure and wane during that fleeting age of elegance.

Men of letters were content to live a life a controlled disippation that saw them circulate between the roulette table and the rue de Orienti that was where they secreted their mistresses. Saigonese ladies wore silk long dresses that the world no longer remembers.

It was after a period when vulvanized rubber ruled the world..the golden age of the gentlemen planter….although somewhat of the misnomer when applied to the man who once saw all these ghostly images in 1990 as he walked the old forgotten french quarter of Saigon.

That man was a spy who worked for french intelligence. He wore a submariner with the minute dial set to three… drank only Pernod before tea time and lodged in the metropole along Thi Xuan. The man worked a 35mm Nikon.

Then one day…poof! He just disappeared.

The invisible man.

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