February 16, 1976Dear Family,
Hi! Greetings from Poona – which was quite an unexpected trip for me – Arrived in Bombay late Saturday night – Ramesh (Benergee's friend) Jhangiana picked me up & stayed the night w/ his family. Then Sunday Benergee comes in from Poona – where he had been on business for a few days – then Sunday pm – we (Benergee & myself) took off on the slow train to Poona so he could finish up today his business. The train-ride was quite an experience – could not get reservations so just had to buy 2nd class tickets (7.50 Rupees) each – then you go to 2nd class unreserved & fight for your place. We were lucky as we both got top sleepers – but the majority of the people were on the floor – or sitting very crowded – the train left at 10:30 pm – arrived here about 5:00 am – so I'm sure glad we both got sleepers.
Benergee had planned on me taking a tour today of Poona – but because of the moon (YES – MOON) it is some sort of holiday – We did get a room at a cheap hotel – mainly so he could clean up, etc. – also because we won't be going back till 10:30 pm tonight. Since no tour I've been here this afternoon laying down, writing a few letters, etc. After tonight I will have spent 3 of the last 4 nights on a train. It is kind of funny because I went through Poona on the train from Madras to Bombay.
It was good to get back to Bombay – Sunday noon they had all my favorite foods – and did I ever enjoy – the food in the South was almost too oily for me –
I got Ruth S's letter – written Feb. 4th upon my arrival to Bombay – I guess a letter from you all went to Madras then will be coming back as I left there before my schedule ––
Benergee showed me the nice letter you all wrote him – he was "thrilled" that a busy American took time to write. He is such a nice guy – hope someday you can meet him –
On the train from Madras to Bombay – played cards almost all day with some people – day went really fast I can play about 4 games now – I like Rummy – I went out & bought a deck of cards in Madras – can you picture that?
Bombay (& Poona too) is so nice – no mosquitoes & bearable heat –
Tomorrow Mike & Mary leave for Burma – then after a week go to Bangkok – I'll be w/ them in thought –
I did get my visa extended – till March 25th but after 13th of March my plane ticket is of no value ––
Everyone in Bombay has said about the weight I've gained – which I'm afraid is true –
Mary V – Ruth told me you had a cold – hope it's past tense – I know Ruth enjoys her phone – phones here are a luxury – but so many things here are luxuries – that we consider a necessity – or take for granted.