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Published: November 17th 2018
1964 Diary Entry "The next morning Mum started packing for that day we were leaving for New Delhi. When lunch time came we went over to Mrs Sung's place for she was going to give us a Chinese cooking party. When we got there we discovered that she was going to take us to a restaurant to eat. When we got to the restaurant we started our food. The Sung family and Dad ate with chopsticks while Mum and I ate with a knife and fork. I thought that the food was delicious. After lunch we had to say goodbye to the Sungs. They walked us back to the hotel and that was the last time that we were going to see them. Then we went up to our room, got our baggage together and went downstairs with it. Then we went into the lounge where we had a drink. Mum had coffee, Dad had whiskey and soda and I had Coca Cola. After drinking the hotel coach came to take us to the airport. We got in the coach and a couple of minutes later we arrived at the airport. Then we had our baggage checked and
filled in a couple of forms and by the time we'd done that it was time to board the plane. This time it was a (sic) Air India one. When we got inside we found the aircraft very comfortable. Then we fastened our seat belts and prepared for take off. Then we took off. We slowly rose to 39,000 feet where we levelled off. Shortly after that I went to one of the back seats where I tried to go to sleep. I couldn't so I just sat for about an hour. After that we landed at Bangkok where it was raining. By this time it was completely dark. After picking up some passengers we took off once more. We slowly rose and levelled off. All the way to Delhi thunder roared and lightning streaked passed (sic) and (it) poured with rain. When we landed in Delhi we once again had a lot to do. We gave forms and went through customs and did lots of things like that. When we finally got through we hopped on the coach for the Ashoka Hotel. When we got there I hopped into bed and went to sleep."
I think Mum might have been a bit embarrassed at having to call for a knife and fork because she couldn't handle the chopsticks. I remember Mrs Sung trying to put her at ease by telling her that she once tried to eat chicken with a knife and fork and it "danced all over the plate".
I seem to have had a real obsession with what everyone was drinking; I hope this wasn't some early preparation for my University years. I can't stand Coca Cola now, but it seemed to feature prominently in my drink orders on this trip. I think the caffeine free version was still several decades away, so no surprise that I had trouble sleeping on the plane. It's a bit of wonder that I was able to sleep anywhere.
I remember us having to take a very convoluted route from Hong Kong to Bangkok. Flying over forbidden China was definitely out of the question, and I remember Dad telling me that we also had to dodge around Vietnam where the war was raging and there was a high risk of getting blown out of the sky if we'd accidentally ventured into the wrong airspace. The thunderstorm we flew through was an absolute doozy, and my nervous flyer mother spent most of the flight with her eyes clenched shut and her fingernails firmly embedded in the armrests.
I've included a scan of the Air India magazine of the day, which was entitled "Foolishly Yours". Whilst I'm sure the article on "England" was meant in jest, I can't help but think that there might have been just a little bit of lingering resentment towards the former colonial masters?
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