Srinagar, Kashmir

Thursday, June 6, 1929

Got another registered off to Mother with more of her table set enclosed. Several hawkers came around this morning and as one wanted to show us his shop at the Third Bridge, we let him take us in his shikara and save us a long walk for we were planning on going there anyway. The hawkers have been pretty thick around here off and on today and we collected some new cards.

Met Frank’s friend while walking through the bazaars and he assured us he would have the Ladakh pass for us at two tomorrow and would also arrange to have two ponies waiting for us at Waily or whatever the place is called. It owes its claim to be called by a name at all by the fact that it is the proud possessor of what might be called a store, two or three native houses, and is a starting point for some tourist caravans for Ladakh. This amazing fact is made possible because no wheeled traffic is allowed over the Wild Bridge and those coming from Srinagar by tonga or shikara go as far as possible on wheels to this place. There is still something about it all that makes us somewhat skeptical, and thus we are not going to moil getting tents, etc. till we learn for sure. I had to wire Delhi for the money I hope is there for me.

We were minacious to say the least toward our hawker pests today, and have invited them all down in the morning between 9 and 10, with their best stuff and at rock-bottom prices, to a big competition sale. What naive lines they hand you to make a sale! We have learned to place faith in none, not even in India. So very many men of Kashmir have a christly phiz—honest-looking eyes—if you don’t search them too long, and a saintly sort of expression. But in a great many cases, perhaps the majority, their visage belies the true character beneath. They are absolutely undependable—of course, there are exceptions.

Frank is the most repulsive sweeper in Srinagar. Tonight while at his job he slipped on the hill and down he and the “sweepings” went, like Jack and Jill, only he had to slide down on the “sweepings.” He succeeded in doing it again a few moments later—with further sad results. Consequently he had to divest and indulge in a much-needed bath. [Must have something to do with toileting.]

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