On July 17, 1945, the OSS Deer Team, led by Major A. K. Thomas, was parachuted in the jungle 200 km north of Hanoi, to make contact with a mysterious group of resistance fighters willing to help the US against the Japanese. They were greeted cordially by the group leader, "Mr C. M. Hoo", a sick-looking older man, and his acolyte "Mr Van", a dapper man wearing a white linen suit and a black fedora (and he did like his fedora). From mid-July to the Japanese capitulation, the Deer Team trained Hoo's ragtag band, provided them with explosives and small arms and followed them during skirmishes. They also allegedly saved Ho(o)'s life. Major Thomas' full report on the Deer Mission (including the FPP title and the line Forget the Communist Bogy) is buried in the 1972 Hearings on the causes of the Vietnam war (see also the same events according to Henri Prunier, last surviving member of the Deer Team). [more inside]
A tale from Van Phuc village is a short film by Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Tashi Gyalthang. Half-fiction/half-documentary, this short shows the singular craft of Nguyen Van Long, who spent several decades entertaining children in the Thu Le park in Hanoi, Vietnam by playing his hand-made flipbook cartoons or 5-min celluloid movies on a Soviet projector.
Last week, following torrential rains, Northern and Central Vietnam suffered their worst flooding in the past 25 years, killing more than 70 people and devastating buildings and crops. Still, life goes on in the inundated Hanoi neighborhoods, and water won't prevent people from walking/driving/boating around the city, getting engaged, marrying and fishing. These folks got their car back and the scenic Ninh Binh region looks like the Ha Long bay. By the way, Google understands vietnamese now.