Tag Archives: Delhi

Flying to Tehran

Letter transcription:

1964-03-04-gry-p-1March 4, 1964

Dear David – As you can see I am using Bangkok stationary. The envelope is from New Delhi. I have learned to carry a supply with me. Our flight out of N. Delhi was scheduled for 5 a.m. – we were just half an hour late which isn’t bad. We are now flying to Tehran – a 4 hr flight – then on to our next stop Beirut. When we were in Djakarta I thought we were prepared for Indiana but not quite. All my reading on Indiana hadn’t quite given me the picture. They have had 17 years of independence and I suppose they have accomplished much in that time but by our standards they have far to go. We tried to buy film and couldn’t get any for our instamatic. We went to several shops in downtown N. Delhi but were told same story everywhere. They just aren’t importing anything that new. I asked one guide how many dams had been built since independence. He said 22. That is a pretty good record for 17 yrs. We were in New Delhi, old Delhi, Agra & Jaipur and conditions were much the same in every place. You couldn’t imagine the dirt and filth unless you see it. There are so many poor people who just eek out an existence. We went by car from Agra to Jaipur and saw how people live in villages. It was so filthy in all the places we passed we wondered what kept people from dying. People and cattle live together and sanitation as we know it is nonexistent there. We saw people using the roadside for toilets – They seem to think nothing of relieving nature any place they may be. We were walking in downtown N. Delhi yesterday trying to find film and a woman was holding a youngster so he could urinate. In many places children go without clothes and we saw more babies without diapers than with. One thing that is very bothersome is the beggars. It seemed they were everywhere. One guide told us in N. Delhi they try to keep them off the streets – there is a home for them but they would rather beg than work so they escape from the homes provided for them. We are getting so low on film we didn’t take many pictures while there. We are not sure we can buy more and we have a few places of interest to visit before coming home. One of the dirtiest things we saw was the use of cow dung for cooking fuel. The women go around and gather the droppings and make patties which are laid out to dry. We saw huge piles. One guide said those are stored for rainy season. Dad said he didn’t know what kept them from getting lockjaw – from the handling of dung. We had to take an early a.m. flight to Agra and it was a little after 7 a.m. when we arrived. Altho it was fair and not a cloud, there was a haze low. It was the smoke from the cow dung fires – cooking breakfast. We went out to see the Taj Mahal by moonlight. Our driver said we would have to go before the haze from the cooking smoke filled the air. We think they would be better off if they used some other kind of fuel and use the c.d. for fertilizer. The trip from Agra to Jaipur took 5 hrs. At about half way there was a rest house for people like us. At least we could use a toilet and our driver had soft drinks in a bucket of dry ice so we had a little refreshment on the way. I think the driver never suggest American or European travelers eat local food. When we were in Malacca we met an Indian Minister. His daughter is in school in Delhi University. We went out to see her yesterday. She hasn’t been home for two years but hopes to go this June. You just be thankful you are an American and that you are in a school like I.U. It is simply wonderful compared to the one in Delhi. With all the faults we can find with our own country there is no place quite like it. Yesterday morning when we went down to breakfast we discovered the

1964-03-04-gry-p-2[page 2] help had gone on strike and we had sort of a cafeteria breakfast. The tipping system is – 12½ % is added to bill and at the end of certain period the tips are divided. I have no idea how but we were told the strike was because the help wasn’t satisfied with the tip distribution. The room boys – called bearers had also taken the room keys with them so the skeleton staff trying to clean up the rooms couldn’t get into some. We had turned our key in at the desk so our room went uncleaned. The method of sweeping is with something resembling a broom which just moves dirt from one spot to another. I think they think if they rouse a cloud of dust they are accomplishing something. I could see ever so many places where the good old American know-how would have been a great help. We had a notice under our door when we got up at 3 a.m. that no more meals would be served in hotel until strike is settled. It didn’t bother us because we were leaving. Will tell you more when we come home.

Love Mother

Had a letter from Janssen and he said the car business was over the insurance. I am still not too happy about it. I thought your driving was covered. Do you still plan to meet us?

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/17/flying-to-tehran/

Taj Mahal

1964-02-29-gry-p-1Letter transcription:

Jaipur, India
Feb. 29 – 1964

Dear David: Your letter was here when we arrived at about 12:30 or a little later. This hotel used to be palace of a Maharajah. I haven’t heard the history of place, but it is fabulous. I have just washed and pin curled my hair and I am sitting in a breezeway however I don’t know what the proper name is for it. There is a courtyard to my left and our room opens from court yard. We came here by car – a tortuous journey lasting 5 hrs. In Agra yesterday when we started our tour to see Taj Mahal and after points of interest our guide wanted to know if we could understand him. In our conversation we discovered he belongs to Methodist Church. There is a Methodist school is Agra and although that wasn’t on our tour he took us to the school – it is Holman Institute. I had prayer calendar in my purse so knew there was an institution in Agra. I looked up the name – he had said Miss Schaffer was head of school. When we stopped – we were in a pretty good tour car – when you consider standard car here – and caused quite a flurry in the courtyard. There was an old man who evidently works for the school and he went in and told Miss Schaffer the Bishop had come. When Miss S. came to the door we told her who we are and then she explained what had happened. Dad assured her he wasn’t the Bishop. We didn’t stay very long but she seemed very pleased to have us stop. I asked her if she had may Methodists stop. She said she has a lot of tourists stop but not so many Methodists. There are 800 students enrolled in Holman. There is also a Baptist Church & school – an Episcopal – a Catholic & Seven Day Advent, so the missionaries have been here a long time and judging from observation there is much yet to be done. It is very dry here and much like Arizona. There is much marble in this palace, but it is gritty. The grounds here are kept watered so are very beautiful with green lawns and flower beds. We will be here yet tomorrow and then go back to N. Delhi Monday. Last night we went back to look at the Taj in the moonlight. It is lovely in either day light or moonlight. When we first looked up at the stars directly over the Taj saw one moving so we watched and it was a satellite – either U.S. or R. While we were looking at the Taj in the moonlight we saw a couple with two children who had come on same plane. The man was taking a time exposure. We were talking to them – something we have found is usually easy to do with other Americans. They are living in Pakistan and were on a little holiday and were going back to Delhi last night. The man is working on a huge dam project and they told us about their American city – walled that is – in Pakistan. It is completely modern with supermarket and frozen foods – something unheard of for people who live in this part of the world. Bonnie will know what I am writing about because her mother’s cook goes to market every day. The missionaries told us their cooks go to market twice a day. They think freezing good spoils the taste. It was hard for us to tell people how I buy groceries, that is make them understand it could be done by the week or two weeks. Incidentally I had read about that dam project in Pakistan in the book I read recently about the World Bank. I was very happy to learn about your good grades and hope you will make honor roll. I think that will be a good way for you to graduate. Mrs. McGraw said Bonnie had written that you tow were not going to graduation since she will be travelling half way around the world to see Bonnie graduate and since you are our last one too, I think it would be cheating us for you not to attend. Think it over. I hear a plane going over. There is an airport here and had I known what a drive we were in for, we would have come by plane.

1964-02-29-gry-p-2[page 2] The roads are very narrow and not too smooth and there is everything besides cars on the road. We saw a truck that had lost a wheel and had turned over this morning. Our driver is a Sikh – pronounced Seek. He wears a turban and has long hair – however his hair is braided and wound around his head under the turban. He also has a beard all over his face except above and below his eyes. He is a very good driver and is very well informed. He has been working for tourist bureau since 1956. He speaks very good English. He calls me Madam and Dad Sir. He wants to take us for a drive around the city at 4:30. We are to have our tour tomorrow. I am still looking for a letter from you about why you aren’t driving the Chevrolet. Mark just wrote and said the Ins. Co. had run an investigation on us and that you weren’t driving the car. Mark has had trouble with the Cadillac. I wrote to him to take it to Tub in Kentland. I had a letter from Mary K. Anslett and she said she thought sure she had seen Chuck Tuberty driving our Cadillac down the street. We checked with Mark’s letter and when she wrote would be the date the Cadillac would be in Kentland for repairs. I hope Tub was able to get it in order. I wrote Mark we didn’t intend to leave a dud for them. We receive letters at every stop. We have written to the hospital all along and groups and individuals keep writing to us and tell us how much they enjoy getting our cards and letters. The Ansletts have adopted a little girl and her letter had the announcement. We knew they were trying to adopt a child but didn’t think it would take so long. M.K. said Marge Janssen is working temporarily at Sears since the girl to replace M.K. wasn’t satisfactory.

Love Mother.

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/12/16/taj-mahal/