A few months ago, Babaloo was on a flight coming back from somewhere--Germany, maybe? I'm not sure. But on the flight, presumably in a seat pocket, she found a book that someone had left behind. A very well-worn, well-traveled looking book, about Tibet.
It's called "Running a Hotel on the Roof of the World: Five Years in Tibet." It was written a Brit named Alec Le Sueur who got the brilliant idea of going into hotel management as a way to see the world. Le Sueur worked for a while at a hotel in Paris, but then he got a hankering for a different kind of adventure, and he applied for a job at the Holiday Inn Lhasa. And got the job, immediately, because, as he writes, nobody wants to work in Tibet.
Babaloo's first inclination was to read the book and then leave it on another plane. I have this idea of this book travelling the world, she wrote. The fantastic thing about this book is that it has two plane tickets/boarding passes as bookmarks inside (from the previous reader). One for Yeti Airlines (yes, seriously), stamp from Bharatpur (no idea where that is, will have to look it up). And one for Buddha Air, flight 606. This book is absolutely calling me. And I can't resist.
She read it, and then, instead of leaving it on a plane, she mailed it to me. She gave me strict instructions to pass it on, exotic bookmarks intact, when I finished it. This book is on a mission to travel the world, she said in a note.
I read the book. It was terrific. It was so terrific I bought two more copies--one for my friend Erik, and one for my little brother.
But this worn serendipitous copy, with its Buddha Air bookmark, is ready to move on.
Who's next? Who is willing to take on the obligation and privilege of accepting it and then sending it on again?
I'll mail it anywhere. Let me know if you want it. If there are a lot of takers, I'll draw a name at random. This book is eager to be on its way.
UPDATE: A couple of you are hoping to buy your own copy of the book and are having trouble finding it. I've just realized that the U.S. edition has a slightly different title (and a new ending): it's called "The Hotel on the Roof of the World: From Miss Tibet to Shangri-La."
It's available through amazon.
1 hour ago