Jungle Ice?!
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    Jungle Ice?!

    Sounds like a blatant misnomer, but can anybody explain this mysterious phenomenon?

    SEPTEMBER 11, 1968
    Go Noi Island - Quang Nam Province - South Vietnam........some 130 bored, thirsty, and rich Marines right in their ville. It wasn't long before they were being descended upon by South Vietnamese National Sales Force with the staples of war.......booze, pot, sex, candy, and cold sodas. The ones selling booze, sex or drugs were chased off by the platoon sergeants leaving only the candy and cold Cokes sales people.

    This simple scene was actually one of the many wonders of the Vietnam War. That is, it really made everybody wonder. Here we were some 35 miles from the nearest town of any size. Thirty-five miles from the nearest electrical grid. On the very edge of ancient jungle. We were beginning to succumb to horrendous thirst as the moisture was sucked from our bodies and these kids show up with literally thousands of ice cold Cokes. ?????? How did all of these Cokes get ice cold in this heat with no electricity? Some thought that there was a generator hooked up to an ice house or refrigeration unit. But there was no engine running anywhere. Others thought that a couple canoes of ice had been brought down river. It didn't seem practical or economical. And it would have taken a lot more than a couple of canoes worth to arrive with enough to make this many Cokes cold.

    Jungle ice was a mystery. And how did all of these Cokes get in the possession of the villagers in the first place? These were cans of Coke from the U.S., not bottles of Coke from a licensed foreign bottler. And they had enough that every man could buy as many as he wanted. This amounted to well over a thousand. At least 50 cases. Even an American would be hard pressed to be able to purchase that many at once at even the large PX in DaNang. Supply volume was an issue especially during the hotter times of the year. Obviously, somebody in this little rural village was well connected.

    As the hordes of kids descended upon the Marines in column on the riverbank, the economics of the blackmarket became clear. They wanted $1 per can. This would be $7.50 per Coke in present value. An absurd price. A price so high that it made everybody squeal and turn their back on the sales force in disgust. Except for one or two Marines who paid it. The kids looked dejected but refused to lower the price.
    After another half hour in the heat, the kids returned and a few more Marines bought some and even some of the first buyers bought another round. But even Marines who still did not want to pay the price were calling the kids over because they wanted to at least feel the ice cold cans. A couple of seconds of gripping the can was usually enough to break down any remaining resistance and a sale was made. Before the kids had finished the round, the word was passed down that it was going to be one to two hours before we crossed. That did it. Everybody began whipping out their dollars.



    Written by Mike McFerrin, 3rd Plt. M Co. 3/5



  2. #2
    Marine Free Member FistFu68's Avatar
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    I saw more than one unusal piece of equipment 4 a ville 2 have.The fire extinguishers used for aircraft fires one short spray on a Can of Beer or Soda would make it as Cold as Ice


  3. #3
    Marine Free Member montana's Avatar
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    often babyson would show up with small styrufoam coolers out in the bush with banana popcycles...... $1 dolla MPC....best popcycles ive ever tasted.....be over a 100 F and the popcycales were froze solid


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