Photos from the Vietnam War – from the other side

vietnam war images from vietnamese photographers
Viet Cong meet the enemy face-to-face, most likely in the Mekong Delta or Plain of Reeds. This rare image shows both sides in combat, ARVN soldiers at the top and Viet Cong in the foreground. The VC have flanked the enemy at left and right, which likely meant the ARVN unit was wiped out. (Photo by Hoang Mai).
vietnam war images from vietnamese photographers
Troops walk the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the Truong Son Mountains, which form the 750-mile-long spine of Vietnam, stretching along much of the country’s western border. To the soldiers of the North, the Ho Chi Minh Trail was known as the Truong Son Road. 1966. (Photo by Le Minh Truong).
vietnam war images from vietnamese photographers
Combat boots litter the road on the outskirts of Saigon, abandoned by ARVN soldiers who shed their uniforms to hide their status. “I’ll never forget the shoes and the loud ‘thump, thump, thump’ sound as we drove over them,” recalled the photographer. “Decades of war were over and we finally had peace.” 1975. (Photo by Duong Thanh).

Caffeine – Michael Pollan

My rating 7/10. Link to book.

This is a super short story from Michael Pollan. I almost read everything he writes. He has good prose and his semi-gonzo style really works for me.

Caffeine was released as an audio exclusive from Audible.

The book touches upon the culture around coffee and tea and how that came to be. Worth a listen.

Listened to this one while I was on a hike so didn’t take many notes, but one thing that stood out was how one coffee plant smuggled out of Mocha in 1616 is the ancestor to much of the coffee we drink today.

The race among Europeans to obtain live coffee trees or beans was eventually won by the Dutch in 1616. Pieter van den Broecke, a Dutch merchant, obtained some of the closely guarded coffee bushes from Mocha, Yemen, in 1616. He took them back to Amsterdam and found a home for them in the Botanical gardens, where they began to thrive. This apparently minor event received little publicity, but was to have a major impact on the history of coffee.

The beans that van der Broecke acquired from Mocha forty years earlier adjusted well to conditions in the greenhouses at the Amsterdam Botanical Garden and produced numerous healthy Coffea arabica bushes. In 1658 the Dutch first used them to begin coffee cultivation in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and later in southern India. They abandoned this cultivation to focus on their Javanese plantations in order to avoid lowering the price by oversupply.

Within a few years, the Dutch colonies (Java in Asia, Suriname in the Americas) had become the main suppliers of coffee to Europe.

Source: Wikipedia