November 20, 1961 – Pakistan

Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi, Pakistan – Clear, warm

     When I opened my eyes this morning I realized I finally felt like myself.  I had slept so well and hard all night that I felt very rested this morning.  We were to leave shortly after breakfast so I had to repack the few things I had taken out the night before and to make ready to leave after eating.

      I joined the rest of the tour group at breakfast and they were all glad to hear I was feeling better.  I was excited to actually be hungry for the first time in a couple of days so I ordered a grapefruit, toast and coffee.  I decided to start off with something light so I didn’t tax my stomach too much too soon. 

      We left on our tour bus at 715am.  At the airport I picked up some Pakistani money to bring home for Patrick.  I had been trying to collect some money in each country we stopped but because I’d been ill here I hadn’t a chance till now to get any.  I added my coins to those I had already saved in my purse.  When I joined the others at the ticket counter where they were getting their tickets I was given a wonderful surprise because it turned out I had been assigned to first class.  I supposed that the reason was coach had been filled up first and I had to be bumped up along with most of the others from our group.  I was excited to fly first class because I hadn’t ever had the luxury of being able to do so.

      When they called for our plane to board I was tickled to be one of the first few to get on board.  Once I was seated I took stock of where I was and realized how much better first class was than coach. 

      Our plane for the flight to Teheran was on a Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 707 – Jet Line Bald Eagle – Pan Am.  Sitting there in first class I felt a little like royalty who only had to ask for something and have it immediately supplied.  The stewardess made us very comfortable after takeoff.  I noticed that another person in first class was given some stationary and a pen so I asked her for some too so I could write Ramona a letter and brag about my flying first class:

Nov 20, 1961 – Pakistan to Teheran, Iran – Jet liner Bald Eagle – Pan Am

Dear Ramona, Anna and Everyone;

     Well I just have to write from this plane; it is the biggest plane we’ve had since we left Los Angeles and some of we got 1st class tickets.  Boy this is IT. 

     We got on the plane first; the seats are wonderful and there are cushions for our feet.  Coffee is delicious for a change.  They brought us pen holders, pads for our eyes, time and money computer, clippers for our feet, now serving coffee.  I’m sorry we didn’t have lunch on this plane.  Too bad our oil well hasn’t come in.  I’d travel this way all the time.  Now they are bringing the food on a big tray for our selection.  It looks delicious.  Sandwiches, snacks and little canapés. 

     This country is different.  I have a window seat and it looks like dessert with a mountain range and no trees or brush down below.  Would like to take a picture but two panes of glass on our window.  I liked Pakistan it was different from India.  When we left Ceylon we went first to Madras and stayed there 2 hours, then on to Bombay.  We got to the hotel at 10:30pm tired as usual and then the hotel.  We got a fairly good room.

     I asked if I had a message, they said no.  I didn’t go on tour in the morning so that Medhu could try to see me but every time I asked the front desk they said no message.  At 10:30am he called as I was getting ready to leave for the airport.  He said “I have been trying to get you since last night and all morning.”  He said “I’ll jump in the car and try to get to the hotel before you leave.  Well he got there just as we were leaving so we made arrangements for Medhu to take me to the plane which was a 45 minute trip so we did get to talk and I took a picture of Madhu.  He took one of me by the Gate of India. 

     As my suitcases were all packed and loaded, I could not give him the cigarettes or stockings also I had two packages I wanted to have him mail for me so I was sorry I wasn’t able to do this.  However, I have been collecting fans from the planes and he will mail those.  I thought Janice could give a fan party.  Well the package I sent from Madras, I doubt you will ever get.   People say even the mail doesn’t always get sent.  This country is so different.

     We have been traveling one hour now and the landscape is still the same.  This is a fabulous flight and one I will always remember.  Now we are having the first good drink I’ve had on this whole trip – bourbon and soda.  We could have had anything Manhattan, martinis, scotch or anything all on the house.  This is living.  Now we are over the sand dunes.  Now come the canapies for our drinks, talk about service!  We don’t get any of this in 2nd class.  The nuts are hot and then so are the puff pastries.  I wish I could take a picture of the land we going over but I doubt if it would take.  Sand dunes and mountains in the distant with snow all over them and not a tree any place. 

     Remind me when I get home that I did not like India except for Taj Mahal and Kashmir. 

     Now we are getting packages of cigarettes – what more?  We will be on this plane about 2 hours – it is now 9:30am in Ventura.  I am so happy we were given the time computer.  Here the waiter comes with some more canopies.  They look and taste beautiful.  I’ll gain on this trip I’m sure.  I’m a little tipsy from the drink they served.  Just ate an anchovy that tasted what shall I say – super delicious, oh! Boy!  Oh, another drink?  Ray should be with me.  We would have a ball.  This was sure a break.  Now I know what it means to travel 1st class. 

     We are flying over clouds now and they are beautiful but maybe at this stage, everything would be beautiful to me.  Oh Ray!  Why aren’t you with me?  I’m high as a kite, both ways.  I even like the tooth picks.  They are sharp and don’t splinter. 

     You know it won’t be too long till we will be home.  The time will go fast from now on.  We were too long in India but with Italy, France and England ahead of us it should be very exciting and fabulous. 

     I have been doing my own hair and I have gotten grey very fast (probably from India).  I think I’ll have a stylist in Italy.  I should come home beautiful but fat. 

     All my love to you all – This letter is for Anna too.  They are serving champagne!  (Will I ever get home?)  It’s delicious. 

     Later.  I hope our tour leader stays sober so he will see to it that we get off this plane.

     Whew!  That was the longest letter I had written so far on the trip I thought.  I really enjoyed the champagne and on top of the drink I’d had earlier I was feeling wonderful if not a little sleepy.  I decided I needed to sleep a little while.

      When I woke up our plane had arrived at Teheran, Iran and I really hated leaving my seat because it was so comfortable.  I loved the service we’d been given.  We arrived at the Sina Hotel at 11:30am, just in time to get our rooms before lunch.  The rest of the day would be ours to do with as we wanted.

View of Teheran Iran

     After I checked in and was assigned a room I decided to skip lunch since I’d snacked on so many things during the flight.  In addition I was still rather tipsy so all I wanted to do was sleep.  When I got to our room I found it quite nice.  I gratefully took off some clothes and prepared to take a nice long nap.  Edith did likewise.  As a result our afternoon turned out to be a very quiet one.

      We woke up in time to get dressed and go to dinner but we both felt rather wicked having spent the afternoon in bed after a morning of drinking and decadence.  Dinner turned out to be excellent and I felt so good I ate a lot.  After dinner Edith and I convinced Flo and Curt to play cards with us for a couple of hours before we went to bed.

      Edith and I finally ended our card game about 11:00pm and returned to our room to go to bed.  I took a nice long bath and went to bed.  My last thoughts as I drifted off were of the day and nice it had been.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 00:16:46

    I think I already mentioned this, but I still have the coin collection. I never did get the coins identified though.


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