We were headed back to America by way of Iran, India and Japan. After a week of healing in a little railroad hotel in Amberg, Germany I took a train to Cologne and bought a lovely little used VW Karmann Ghia and we headed east for Istanbul, and Bombay.
|The Blue Mosque in Herat, built 1200 AD|
It took two days to cross the border from Iran to Afghanistan.
|The 2 lane black top built by America & Russia|
|Some of their guns were flintlocks|
I was so pissed off. If this were Afghanistan now, I would be terrified.
But this was 1969. “I didn’t break your fucking gate.” The black steel bars of their gate was a mass of welds but it wasn’t broken. “Your fucking gate broke my windshield.”
“Your windshield is not broken. We will help you put it back.” And they did.
We were driving from London through Paris, Athens, and Istanbul on our way to India, and back home to New York. I was a Creative Director at JWT London. A little like Don Draper with a corner office overlooking Berkeley, Square. They offered me a seat on the board. and my wife said, “let’s take a trip around the world instead.”
I thought that was a great idea. Still do. One day, maybe we’d be rich enough to go around the world in style. But we’d be cranky old farts. We were only 30, and this was the time to see what we could see. We saw Teheran, drove over the Khyber Pass and down the length of India. Swam in the rainbow aquarium ocean in Ceylon, bicycled around the Angor Wat.
When we got to San Francisco just before Christmas, the TV showed demonstrators in Phnom Penn chanting and waving posters, DOWN WITH SIHANOUK, GET THE REDS OUT OF CAMBODIA. We had just been to Phnom Penh and in 1969 people spoke Khmer and/or French, but virtually nobody there spoke or read English.