…continued from last week. Below, Mom leaves 8-year-old me alone in a hotel in Nepal. Anyone imagine doing anything like that today?

Day 15 Sun

We ate breakfast and got on the plane to Bombay. We went to another Holiday Inn at 2:55am India time. When we got up we went down to a coffee shop and had breakfast (again). It was real windy and rainy. We looked at the swimming pool and at the kids playing on the beach. We went around Bombay and saw a cobra, the museum, and the Gateway to India. We ate lunch at the Taj Mahal Hotel and wished we had stayed there instead. The guy who drove us to the Taj Mahal Hotel offered us a ride around town but we refused. The guy who drove us home was a maniac. First of all, he was smoking drugs. Secondly, he tried to pull a boy beggar along the street. Thirdly, he stopped for five minute in a dark alley. Next he tried to hit pedestrians. He almost went through a red light, offered drugs to Ken, skipped from lane to lane and looked away from the steering wheel. He said we underpaid when we overpaid. Mean guy!

Day 16 Mon

We got ours served in our room and ate it. My mom got a comment list about how she liked the inn and she said, “I think the room is a damp dump, I wouldn’t recommend it for a dog and when you enter you feel like you’ve entered Skid Row.” I bet you the manager would answer “It’s not supposed to be for dogs.” It downpoured all morning so we couldn’t go to the swimming pool or the beach. We flew to Delhi and we landed at noon. We got to stay at the York Hotel. It was in Konoff’s [sp?] Circle. Delhi was as hot as Tokyo. It was almost as noisy. We were glad we got in our air-conditioned room. We went to Gaylord’s for dinner. The band there asked me where I was from and I told them. So they sang songs about San Francisco. They also made up a song about me.

Coincidence: our room number at the first Holiday Inn was 1527 and our room number at the second Holiday Inn was 527.

Then I went to bed.

Day 17 Tue

We ate breakfast and took a tour of Delhi. We saw the Qutb Miner, the India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, The Presidential Palace and wanted to see Red Fort. At Humayun’s Tomb a guy demanded 5 rupees for what we could have seen ourselves. At the Presidential Palace there was a man playing with two monkeys. Our guide was a very nice guy. He let us stay as long as we wanted to at the places we were going to. He showed us a store where we could get a cold drink. He explained everything smoothly and with a nice voice. He was just the opposite of that maniac cab driver! We had to go this day without lunch. We thought each thing we saw was beautiful. The Red Fort and the Qutb Miner were a pretty auburn. Humayun’s Tomb had gallant [sic] gold, the India Gate had gorgeous brown and the Presidential Palace had sparkling silver. That night we went to bed. (So what? Who cares? Big deal! Well, whoopee? And?)

Day 18 Wed

We ate breakfast (as you might have guessed) and explored Newer Delhi. We went to the airport to catch a plane to Shrinagar, Kashmir. We were scheduled for the 10:10 and we were put on the 9:10 which left at at ten to 10. At Shrinagar Airport we took a bus to the Shrinagar tourist office. My mom asked if she could have a super deluxe and the guy gave her a deluxe. He said we would have lunch at 1:15 but we had it an hour later. He was full of malarkey! We spent the rest of the day getting to our houseboat. The houseboat was Class A, and the name of it was Armstrong. In Bombay there was a gift shop near the cold drinks store. There I bought a thread elephant and named him Jumbo. We ate our dinner and after that I slept in a fold-up bed.

Day 19 Thurs

Yesterday we went on a romantic cruise through the Floating Garden. You could only hear the birds and the slow movement of the waves while looking at nice flowers. It was gorgeous. Today we ate breakfast. That afternoon we saw the five Mugal Gardens. One had fresh, clean, cold spring water going down a waterfall. That night we tried to see the zodiac signs: Gemini, Pisces, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, etc. We looked for the North Star, the Milky Way, the Big Dipper, and the Little Dipper.

Day 20 Fri.

We ate breakfast and took the bus up to Gulmarg. Gulmarg is a city on a mountaintop. The bus stopped and from there we walked a kilometer to a lunch lodge. We met a woman from New Zealand and it was her first time in India. We also ate lunch when we got to the lodge. We looked for a post office. A guy said it was back at the bus stop. My mom was carrying a big box of knives and she brought it up to Gulmarg to use [?] it. She was getting tired of carrying it in the hot sun. The mountains above were nice and cool with snow. On the way up to Gulmarg there was a spot where you were supposed to stop and feast your eyes. On the way up there I was drinking apple juice. It was a jerky road, so the gas wiggled inside me. When we got up to the feast-your-eyes spot I threw up. That spot was cool and you could see nice scenery from it. Up at Gulmarg we walked a half kilometer and then stopped under the shade of a cloud. In 20 minutes we started walking to the post office. When we got to the bus stop it was not there. It was further up! When we got there, I took a pony ride down to the bus stop. When we all got on we drove back down to Srinagar. We took the water taxi, ate dinner and then slept with Choga, Swifty, and Jumbo.

Day 21 Sat.

That morning we had breakfast and caught the plane to Delhi. The only airplane that flies to Srinagar is Indian Airlines, so there was a big line for that. If you think we are going to visit Delhi again, you’re wrong. Indian Airlines just does not make direct flights to Delhi, so we must make an L to get to Katmandu. We had lunch at the Delhi Airport for we had to wait 3 hours for our plane anyway. The menu said Pineapple Cake but the waiter said “We’re out.” Mom had coffee instead, I had a roll and pineapple juice, and Ken had something to fill his appetite. Then our plane came: Royal Nepal Airlines. Instead of getting in the side, we got in the tail. That is a tail no one will believe! Ken wanted the window seat but I talked him out of it. When we landed in Katmandu it was night. I was fortunate I made it to the Yak and Yeti Hotel. There were wood carvings. There were 105 comfortable rooms. 314 was our room number and my birthdate.

Day 22 Sun.

We ate breakfast and walked around. It stunk. We arranged to have a tour of Bhaktapur, Patahn and Katmandu the next day. We went to the Royal Nepal Airlines office and arranged the 2:00. We ate lunch at the Hotel Crystal. I had a hamburger too big for me. That night I went to bed with Choga, Swifty and Jumbo.

Day 23 Mon.

We ate breakfast and got on the bus with some other people to Bhaktapur. There we bought a lot of junk from junky salesmen and saleswomen. We walked around the golden door. We thought of plans to get rid of salesmen and saleswomen. We thought of plans A to Z. I’d advise you not to come here. Then we got back on the bus to Patahn. At Patahn we saw a lot of statues. We also saw 10,000 Buddha on the wall and Ken started singing, “10,000 Buddhas on the wall, 10,000 Buddhas” etc. Both cities were paved and both where were the real Nepalese hang out. The tour was just to see the cities of Katmandu Valley. Next we saw the capital, Katmandu. We had already seen most of Katmandu but our guide showed us the main part. He showed us the part people worship. It was a golden temple, very small. Two cats could fit in it. Next to it was a place to bury animals. At the Yak and Yeti Hotel I ate dinner and went to bed with you-know-who.

Day 24 Tue.

We ate breakfast and stayed inside. It downpoured all morning. Then suddenly the sun started shining. We went out to a place called Restaurante Italiano. There were no flies there, which made it very pleasant. After we ate lunch we started walking to the monkey temple. On the way to the monkey temple my mom told me it was a long walk in the hot sun to the monkey temple. So I decided not to go. My mom walked me back to the entrance of the Yak and Yeti Hotel. While they were gone I went in the swimming pool. In the pool area I met a boy named Timmy. There were a lot of other children there, but he was the only one who talked to me. We talked about what the world would be like if it was all made out of candy that would not rot your teeth. We pushed ourselves in the water and did other fun things. The boy was from England. I told him I was going to London. He told me he lived near the lake. It was hard to say good-bye, even though I just met him. 20 minutes after I came up, Mom and Ken came up. We ate a snack on the fifth floot and dinner on the ground. After that I went to bed.

Jumbo’s history: Once Dumbo’s mother took her child to Africa to see some friends. There she became pregnant and out came Jumbo. Jumbo was taught to fly from Dumbo. Jumbo moved to Delhi and there he was caught and brought to the Gift Shop. One day an American boy named Daniel came to the Gift Shop and bought him. The End

Day 25 Wed.

We ate breakfast and took our pills. Then I went swimming. Two boys teased me and asked me questions like, do you know you have underwear on? Can you dive? Can you dive with flippers on? They even threatened to slap me with their flippers. I ran up to mom and she came back down with me. I easily got my towel. We next went to a Japanese place and had lunch. After that Mom and Ken went to the museum while I stayed at our hotel. I did not have the nerve to go down to the pool because the two boys were there. When Mom and Ken came we had a snack again and ate dinner. I did not fall asleep on the table that time. But I did in bed. Isn’t that too bed?

Swifty’s history: Swifty was born in the Pacific Ocean. He got tired of going to Hawaii in the summer so one summer he went to a forest in Thailand. There a hunter caught him and put him on sale in the capital. He wanted to go back to an American, sunny life so when I came he said he wanted me to take him. The End

Day 26 Thurs.

We ate breakfast and then swam until lunch. After that we went to the Katmandu airport. The plane for Delhi was scheduled to leave at 2 but we had to wait four hours for it! When we arrived in Delhi we stayed at the Ashocka Hotel. We got a suite room instead of a double. I barely made it to my bed cause of zzzzzzzz.

Day 27 Fri.

We had enough time to eat breakfast and catch the plane for Agra. When we arrived we got on a bus tour to Fatepur Sikri (sp?) and Sikandray (sp??). From our room we could see the Taj Mahal. I went swimming after the tour. Our Holiday Inn room number was my mom’s birthdate: 310.

Day 28 Sat.

We ate breakfast when we got up. Ken had toast, tea, and tomato juice. My mom and Ken have been having tea with lemon the whole trip. We sat around until noon and then we saw Taj Mahal. It was a magnificent, marvelous mass of marble. 20,000 slaves made beautiful flower carvings in order of the king’s command to make his wife a tomb.

Thanks for taking this journey with me! The diary ends there – I believe we left for less-exciting Europe the next day, don’t know why I stopped writing. I love this glimpse into an 8-year-old thoughts. I don’t love the thought that my writing has barely improved. :/