Thank you for your letter. I have never been to Versailles. Maybe you can take me there one day and show me around!
Life at the UN is as boring as ever. It's time for me to leave. Mr Al Fulan wanted me to stay until next January when the next volunteer is due to arrive, but I said I had to leave to get a proper job.
I went to the Soaltee Hotel with some friends last night. A very famous Indian actor called Dev Anan (or something like that) was there with Lenny Dorje, the King of Sikkim's brother. I suppose you know all these characters. All the girls were screaming. I don't know why. I suppose he's handsome - but he must be in his 40s. He's thinking of doing a film in Kathmandu. I watched a beautiful Nepalese girl dancing. She was so graceful. She reminded me of you. Maybe one day we will have a chance to dance together.
What else? I keep getting punctures, usually at the most inconvenient times. I seem to have one every day! I was cycling past the Chinese Embassy the other night and crashed into a pothole. The dogs in the Embassy compound started barking, which got the guards shouting and waving their torches around. I was lying on the ground desperate to get away, but it was difficult because I’d hurt myself and of course I had a puncture, so I had to limp away as quickly as I could before the guards opened the gates and grabbed hold of me! I wonder what would have happened. Maybe they would have made me memorise Mao’s little Red Book before letting me go! Or maybe it would have started a diplomatic incident! I can imagine the headlines in the papers: ‘UN employee tries to get into Chinese Embassy to steal secrets!’ Anyway, I now have a big tear in my trousers.
No more news for now. I miss you. I love you. I wish you were with me. Please write to me soon.
Jim Coleman was a UNDP volunteer in Kathmandu from 1968-1971. Master of the Moon, his first published novel, draws on his encounters with the people, culture and religions of Nepal at that particular time, when Nepal was being discovered by baby-boomers travelling, for the most part, overland across Asia to find themselves through experiments with religion and hasheesh. On returning to the UK from Nepal, he followed a career in teaching and educational management in various countries, mostly in the employment of the British Council. Now retired, he runs a charity (Himalayan Education Lifeline ... full info