[It’s Kathmandu – spring rolls, Freak Street, braid belts, rickshaws and ….the Messiah in tuxedos?!]
MONDAY 20TH DECEMBER, 1976
“Got up and went in by rickshaw to New Road – Nepal Bank. Driver didn’t know where I meant and stopped several times – no one seemed to know where centre of town was! 9.30 got there to find not open!
Went for rip off coffee and toast in Crystal Hotel – dim lights, soft Radio 2 type music, was only one there – lots of waiters in white, all very polite. Finally collected money so can eat again – relief because funds low.
Back to hotel (bought braid belt). In again with Nikki to see if booked on Air India, can’t find out. Lunch in Utze with Bread and Jam (Fred and Jan) – spring roll.
People lazing on terrace at hotel. Shared cake with Heidi at KC’s. I went into town on own again – a few back streets, then down New Road and Durbar Square (into Freak Street). Bought some cheap jewellery but on whole shops disappointing.
Early supper with Heidi, Bill and Shirley at Shangri la (lovely chicken and cashewnut) then piled into taxi and tried to get to Messiah concert at Lincoln School. First taxi had no clue, so piled into second. Went all over far side of Kathmandu looking for the place. Eventually got there – Chris, Nikki and Anders already there. Amazing to be among loads of diplomatic Brits and Yanks sitting in a school hall with choir in suits and long dresses.
Great evening, really amusing – electricity failed in middle of overture and organ wound down (we couldn’t help laughing). All men singers were painfully bad, but choir sang with gusto and the Yanks all gave them a standing ovation!
Piled into mini bus going back – absolutely chock-a-block – knees crunched up together! Chris almost disappearing out of door. (Di trying to engineer something between Heidi and Anders!)”