November 4, 1961 – Nepal

Royal Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal – Clear

      I woke up early this morning in a much better mood than when I’d gone to sleep last night and I felt quite fortunate to be me.  While I got ready to go eat I told Edith I wanted to go to a jewelry store near the hotel before we went on our tour today so I left her in our room.  I went into the dining room, had a quick breakfast with coffee and then left to go shopping.  I was hoping to find another pair of earrings to replace the ones I had lost.  I was really pleased with what I found so I bought a nice pair of earrings.  I even almost bought a second pair.

      I made it back to the hotel and was waiting in the lobby when the rest of the group showed up to leave for our tour.  Private cars took us first to the old Prime Minister Palace which had 1500 rooms.  The people had revolted and overthrown the government in 1951 because they considered the Prime Minister to be a crook who had stolen all the money.  As a result of the revolution though they had started letting foreigners come into the country again.  The building remained empty and it was a shame too because the building was quite grand. 

      Our next stop was Bhatgaon, an ancient city with a golden gate that was considered to have the best preserved palace courtyards and old city center in Nepal.  Our guide also told us that it was one of three Newar kingdoms in the Kathmandu Valley and the largest.  When I asked what the term Newar meant he told us it was in reference to an area with descendants of citizens of Medieval Nepal.  There were so many Hindu shrines and it was a very scenic area.  We saw the Courtyard of the Kings and Hanuman Dhoska where the current King Mahendra was crowned. 

      Amongst all the splendor we still saw so much poverty and begging everywhere that it took away from the pleasure of seeing so much history.

      We also visited ghat or bathing place and for the first time I saw a Buddha taking a bath or at least he was reclining in a large pool of water.  After looking at the sights we also toured the marketplace with its temple of coarse gold leaf. We saw the Kathmandu Hindu Shrine, the Nepalese village of Patan, sacred bathing spouts and even some native guerrilla.  Everywhere we saw groups of little children and I took a picture of one group. 

Hindu Shrine in Kathmandu Nepal

Nepalese Village Patan

Sacred Bathing Spouts in Nepal

Nepal Native Guerrillas

Another View of Nepal Native Guerrillas

Work Animal in Sinhalesi Holy City

Children of Nepal

      By late afternoon I was tired when we finally returned to the hotel.  I didn’t think I had enough time to take a nap before dinner so I thought I would use my time to write Bob and his family.

Nov 4, 1961 – Kathmandu, Nepal

Dear Pat, Bob, Patrick, Penny, Liz Ann, Sammy; 

     I’m beginning to get aware of the fact that postcards are keeping me broke so unless I see a real good picture, I’ll send letters.  A postcard here costs 25 cents another 30 or 40 cents to mail.  I can get more in a letter for the money. 

     In Bangkok Ethel M and I went shopping with a guide into the big market and to the Thai silk factory.  This was terrific.  You can’t imagine anything so dirty cluttered and unsanitary. 

     In Calcutta when we drove into town at 8pm but the streets were still crowded with people, bulls and cows.  The people rolled into their blankets on the street asleep.  I thought, “I wouldn’t dare go out into these streets.”  Well, the other night I was 5 blocks from the hotel after dark in a store talking to an Indian about silk.  I was alone and I bought sari and then Ali who was our guide and my dear friend by this time took me back to the hotel – thru the worst mob I have ever seen – I wouldn’t do that in Lost Angeles believe me. 

      We flew over the Himalayas in a small 2 motor plane.  We had a wonderful view of Mt Everest and I took pictures.  But had a problem with camera so no pictures. 

     This hotel is very old.  Our bedroom is square 30’ by 30’ 13’ high ceiling.  Our bathroom is 30’ long and 15’ wide all in marble floors and everything has wash basin, tub, shower, urinal, bedette, basin and tap on floor and toilet.  We can’t eat the meals in India but bananas are good. 

     We went on a tour this morning and tomorrow leave here for New Delhi.  We go out in small planes, so half of our group will be left here another day.  We are on top of the world here believe me.  This hotel is mostly marble floors verandas and every stairway and hall. 

     I’ve only received one letterl from you, are you getting them in on time or a little ahead of time would be safer.  I’d hate to miss any – no forwarding.  Saw the market place this morning so I hope I don’t have any nightmares.  Love Mother

     Once I finished my letter it was time to go downstairs for dinner so I sealed up the letter so I could mail it.  I didn’t want to leave it out because every time I did Edith made a point of copying it or trying to read it. 

      Dinner came and I had to just pick at the food.  Some of it looked okay but those that tried it said it was very, very spicy so I avoided everything and just had some bananas and a little other fruit to eat.  I took some fruit with me upstairs to eat later in case I got hungry. 

      Once we were back in our room, Edith and I took baths and then played cards till we were tired enough to go to sleep.

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