Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001.
Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p.m. at the Wireless Institute building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - telephone 30.2028.
|EDITORS:||Dorothy Pike - 53 Wyralla Ave, Epping, 2121. Telephone 861352.|
|Owen Marks - In the clubrooms. Telephone 30.1827|
|BUSINESS MANAGER:||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive,Carlingford Telephone 871.1207|
|TYPIST:||Kath Brown, Telephone 812675.|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR:||Peter Scandrett, Telephone 848.0045|
|November General Meeting||Barry Wallace||3|
|Reflections after Fifty Years||Joe Turner||4|
|Welcome Aboard||Lesley Page||7|
|Social Notes||Christine Austen||8|
|Tiger for a Day||Clare Kinsella||9|
|Sucked In||“Sixpenny Bob”||11|
|Mountain Equipment Ad||14|
|Money Matters or Coinage Confusion||Gordon Lee||15|
Although the 50th anniversary celebrations are over, the occasion and its meaning have not been forgotten. In fact, the events of October have sparked off a good deal of thought and discussion amongst members new and old. This has been particularly noticeable in recent contributions to the magazine, both in the November issue and the present one. The editors thought it would be appropriate to continue in this vein and we have therefore included two trip stories of bygone days in this issue. The articles are actually a couple of selections which just missed making the anniversary magazine due to lack of space. Both the stories come from past editions of the Sydney Bushwalker.
The year is now drawing to a close, and what an eventful year it has been 1977 will be remembered as a real milestone in the history of the club, and when our young members are old perhaps they will recall the good-old-days of '77 and the fiftieth birthday.
Meanwhile we should be looking ahead to the new year with hope and anticipation, for in 1978 the club embarks on a new half-century of bushwalking.
The November General Meeting
by Barry Wallace
The November general meeting saw Helen Gray in the chair, flanked by Spiro and Sheila. New members were Gem Gagne, Anne Taylor, Elisabeth Pickett and Mark Fowler who didn't show (was he out hunting birds?).
We had apologies from the treasurer, Neil Brown and the walks secretary, Len Newland. The minutes raised no business or hackles and were duly received “as a true and correct… etc.”.
Correspondence in, apart from magazines, was dominated by the Dungallas. We had a letter from Brian Harvey asking for permission to re-print articles out of the anniversary issue of the Sydney Bushwalker. (This was subsequently agreed to after brief consultation with the Owen Marks component of the magazine editors.) There was a letter of thanks from Jess Martin and one from Edna Garrad on behalf of the Dungallas for the anniversary celebrations.
I believe there is also a letter from Ron Knightley which is presently with the treasurer. It is not clear to me whether it is to be sold for gain or whether we are trying our hand at some form of extortion.
Correspondence out was limited to letters to new members.
In the absence of the treasurer a closing balance of $4,900.91 was announced. Keep your eye on that balance folks. When it drops sharply you will know we have paid for the anniversary dinner.
Helen Gray led the meeting through a brief run-down on the previous month's walks. There was ne general business, so after announcements the meeting closed at 8.52 pm.
In case people may think from the above that we are subsidising the anniversary dinner, we would like to point out that the November balance was abnormally large and the money received from ticket sales has more than covered the cost of the occasion.
Reflections after Fifty Years
by Joe Turner (joined 1927)
When, twenty-five years ago, Kath McKay wrote the poem (appended below) “Twenty-fifth Birthday”, published in “The Sydney Bushwalker” No.215, October 1952, the “Silver Anniversary Issue”, one could perhaps be forgiven for asking oneself, “What will the next 25 years bring?” Well, reflecting now, 25 years later, the Club has had its trials and tribulations; we've had our “off” periods when it seamed unlikely that there ever would again be a batch of “prospectives” to fully conform to the Club's (in the view of some) stringent conditions and become fully fledged so as to be admitted to membership; our finances have been a bit in the doldrums; at the Annual Meetings there would be a dearth of “takers” for the many Executive positions to be filled, the Walks Secretary would report a lack of starters to fill the Walks Programme; and in general the wails of the “prophets” referred to by Kath may again have been heard, “The Club is doomed” - “The Club is slowly dying”.
But here we are, another twenty-five years later, able to echo Kath's assertion, “We are not wholly dead”. “Wholly” indeed! - Not even partly! Nor has the bus (or perhaps the car) yet discontinued “disgorging us for Era” - that is to say, some of us, while others of us (and these must include many who, although perhaps regrettably for us “oldies” left behind, have taken off for more distant tracks “Beyond”) shall, let us hope, always be there in spirit, to “totter down the track and see draw nearer the dunes, the valley, Peter Page's hill, our troth with the bushflowers, each springtime to renew” - lovely words!
And so, having been spared to enjoy, after 50 years, yet another Re-union, this S.B.W. Member would like to place on record, not merely a “reflection”, but his conviction (to paraphrase Kath's words) that not only “…long may….”, but “..long shall the others who came after, walk the bush tracks, seek out the life that's free, meet perils….” and whatever, even if “….mingled at times with mild profanity”.
A quarter century! The years are flying -
Where are the prophets who so oft have said:
“The Club is doomed”. “The Club is slowly dying”?
Believe me, we are not yet wholly dead.
Still when the bus disgorges us for Era
Our hearts leap with the old remembered thrill
As, tottering down the track, we pee draw nearer
The dunes, the valley, Peter Page's hill.
Our mileage is not much, as speedsters reckon;
We pause more often to admire the view;
But still we hobble out, when bushflowers beckon,
Our troth with them each springtime to renew.
Yearly we cut fresh notches in the tally
Of mountain peaks we shall not climb again;
Heights are for Youth! But we have still the valley,
The sunlit Cox, Eureka in the rain.
Long may that Youth, and others who come after,
Walk the bush tracks, seek out the life that's free,
Meet perils, scars - and hakea - with laughter
Mingled at times with mild. profanity).
And while we celebrate, not yet quite blotto,
We would exhort them this all things above:
To keep the good old independent motto
Of S.B.W. - We won't be druv!
Kath McKay. Written 1952.
Lightweight bushwalking and camping gear.
- BUNYIP RUCKSACK: This 'shaped' rucksack is excellent for children. Use-full day pack. Weight 14ozs.
- SENIOR RUCKSACK: A single pocket, shaped rucksack. Suitable for overnight camping. Weight 1 1/2lbs.
- BUSHMAN RUCKSACK: Has sewn-in curved bottom for extra comfort in carrying. Will hold 30lbs. 2 pocket model l.25 lbs. 3 pocket model 1.5 lbs.
- PIONEER RUCKSACK: Extra large bag with four external pockets and will carry about 40Ibs of camp gear. Weight 2.25lbs.
- MOUNTAINEER DE LUXE: Can carry 70Ibs or more. Tough lightweight terylene/ cotton, proofed fabric with special P.V.C. reinforced base. 20“ x 17” x 9“ proofed nylon extension throat with double draw cord for positive closure. Flap has full sized zip pocket of waterproof nylon. Outside pocket. Bag is easily detached from the frame to form a 3' steeping bag cover for cold, wet conditions. Weight 5lbs.
- MOUNTAINEER: Same features as de luxe model except for P.V.C. bottom reinforcing. Weight 5 1/4lbs.
- TRAMPER FRAME RUCKSACK: Young people and ladies will find this pack a good one. It will carry sufficient camping equipment and food for 3 or 4 days or more. Has 3 pockets, capacity about 30 lbs. Weight 4lbs.
- 'A' TENTS: One, two or three man. From 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 lbs.
- WALL TENTS: Two, three or four man. From 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lbs.
- Carrying Bags: P.V.C or Nylon
- KIANDRA MODEL: Hooded bag. Extra well filled. Very compact. Approx 3.75lbs
- HOTHAM MODEL: Super warm box quilted. Added leg room. Approx 4.5lbs
Compasses. dry, oil filled or wrist types.
Maps. large range.
Freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
Stoves and lamps.
Everything for the bushwaiker.
69 LIVERPOOL ST, SYDNEY - 20-2686 61-7215
by Lesley Page
“Your coach is about to depart for a scenic circle tour of Kalianna Ridge, Monolith Valley, Mt. Owen, Bibbenluke Walls, Corang Trig, Cockpit Swamp, Wog Wog Track and Yadboro River”, announced coach captain, Charlie Brown, “Executive and economy classes catered for.”
There were twenty five bodies that set forth Saturday morning. The day promised to be full of climatic contrasts. At 5.30 am our faithful leader awoke us; the air was warm and balmy. At 7.00 we were slogging our way up Kalianna Ridge, whilst Charlie kept mumbling about his executive class tour and his economy class tour. I wonder what class Kalianna Ridge fell into?
The party reached the top in good time. On our way up we greeted students from the Naval College, and a couple with a toddler on Dad's back. The view was magnificent looking backwards and ahead. The sky was clear. We walked along the tops to the saddle where photographs were taken of nearly twenty five pimples on a rock. The Brown Clan was called together by clansman Snow Brown since there were five of us. Don't you remember my maiden name was Brown? Mutterings again came from the leader Charlie Brown about executive tour and economy class and preferential treatment had been given to the selected few. Fazeley Reid had a little badge saying O.I.C. DISCIPLINE, and another badge floated around the chosen few saying was it SECOND O.I.C.? I was told that it was to be circulated amongst those who wore blue. I wore blue, what was wrong with me?
Down into a little gully we caterpillared, discovering our first well earned drink.. water! Then proceeded on to the Monolith Valley, aa-h, it is still majestically beautiful, a reward for such a climb. But no time to dilly dally, so on we walked, eventually stopping at a creek shaded by tall trees and rocks. Truly-bliss except for the bugs present. The leader cracked the Whip. On we walked to the other side of Mt. Owen, coming to stop for lunch in an overhang. The day was warm but hard to believe that back home in Sydney it was very hot. Special teas were offered at lunch with Twinings well represented. The party pressed on a little further. Walking became easier as we crossed from Mt. Owen alongside Bibbenluke Walls.
That balmy forecast of the morn changed into a thunderstorm with mist and lightning. Charlie declared that he knew a cave to shelter from the storm, however we spent time backtracking in the storm only to find no cave. Spiro found it only to discover that it was inhabited. by boy scouts and not us. After scrambling back to the track, we continued to where our tour leader believed there were camping caves. Scouters were sent out. Meanwhile Ray Hookway's Minties were demolished by all. The scouts reported back and a suitable cave with wood, water and snuggly sleeping accommodation was selected. Dinner was cooked in relays, Spiro commenting on the quality of everybody's meats. Mine had gone green!
Afterwards, everyone settled beside the fire or snuggled into their sleeping bags nearby. The night grew black and the stories became even bluer until nodding heads fell asleep.
Morning dawned misty. Off we trotted into the gloom. Gone were the beautiful views although it was cool walking. A quick pace was set as it was going to be a long day. We paused on top of Corang Peak then on and on we walked through the mist until we hopped over a farmers fence to have morning tea beside his creek. Rod Peters again offered his lemon-scented tea which was rushed whilst the end of the line went a-begging.
Now came the tricky bit of the trip. We walked across Cockpit Swamp, fortunately quite dry. We were seeking the bridle track to take us down to Yadboro River. Charlie had left a tin can as a marker. That mist was so soupy it wouldn't matter what one had left. After a few wrong moves, whoopees came from the front that we had found the track.
Down, down, down we went. The soupy mist disappeared to leave us with a dull day. We had lunch by Yadboro River, thence an easy walk along the river back to the cars. We reached the cars at about 4.30 pm, or to be correct, 5.30 pm Summer Time.
A really good walk and not as hard as suspected.
by Christine Kirkby
Don't forget that the Club Xmas Party will be held on Wednesday 21st in the Clubroom. Drink and music provided. Please bring a glass and a plate of party food. Also any photos of the 50th Birthday celebrations as these will be put on display for the evening.
January 18th. If you cast your mind back to July you might remember that Fred Lind showed us a few of his slides of the Kali Gandaki area of Nepal. Alan Fall, who went there in January 1977, is going to give us a much more expanded showing of this remarkable area. Come along, all you Nepal fans!
January 25th. After the popularity of the last Members' Own Slide Night, we've included one for January's programme. Some people may have slides of the 50th Anniversary weekend and their Christmas trips (if the processing is fast).
SBW Magazine 1938: Tiger for a Day
by Clare Kinsella
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. I was the fool this day but many a time, as I hung over a breathtaking drop, or slipped, shuddering, across a slimy rock, I felt that I might at any moment join those diffident angels and rather regretted that I had lately neglected my practice on the harp.
How I fell for the trip even now I cannot understand. Someone said, “How about coming to Blackheath next weekend. We're going on Friday night. It'll be an easy trip.” My rabbit mind registered the ward “easy”, there was no gypsy about so there was no warning for me to heed. We left on Friday 11th November and slept at the top of Govett's Leap, and early on Saturday morning walked down to the unnamed creek on Rodriguez Pass. Here we lazed the day away, eating stupendous meals and swimming many swims in the creek pools.
On Saturday evening we were joined by other folk, most of them sensible people who knew they were of the earth and were quite content to keep their feet on it. Up to this time I had really not given any thought to Sunday's project and it was only when I heard some of the planning for the next day, with frequent mention of the word “rope” that I felt that perhaps now was the time to say “Thanks, I think I'll stay behind”. It was really Alex who unknowingly decided for me. While they were counting up those who intended to do the trip, some kind creature enquired whether Clare would be able to manage it. Alex, with reckless confidence exclaimed, “Oh, Clare's all right, you would have seen her climbing on our Cambewarra trip”. Fool that I was, my chest puffed out with pride and I let Alex's recommendation make up my mind. I decided to go.
As Jack Debert was one of the party it is superfluous to say we were awake early and had breakfasted and were ready to leave long before respectable people had opened their eyes to the Sabbath. Hilma Galliot, Edna Garrad and I set off before the others and waited for them where the creek narrowed to a waterfall which plunged into a wide, rockbound pool. When the others joined us we left the creek and struck up the ridge. Although it was so early, it was already hot and I puffed and panted considerably as I struggled on, and secretly congratulated myself when I found I was not the last arrival at the top. (I was the rabbit out with the tigers which is just about the same as the fox trotting along with the hounds.) Here we had to clamber along single file at the foot of a tall cliff face with a considerable drop to the creek below on our left. There were a few slippery places where Gordon Smith warned us to be careful but I felt that it was quite easy and went on unconcerned.
We at last came to a halt and Dot, who was in the lead, said we could go no further. Our track along the cliff face was broken by a waterfall (Arethusa Falls) which came in on our right. At the extreme edge of it was a small but stout tree with wide spreading branches. We waited here while Dot, with consummate ease, skinned up to reconnoitre. After some little time she returned and said we would have to follow suit, it would be easy going once we scaled the tree.
Easy! It didn't take me long to realise that Dot's definition of the word and my own were just a little different! Phillip Bronowski who had accompanied us thus far, allowed us in turn to clamber barefooted onto his shoulders and thence entwine ourselves in the tree's branches. When I reached this haven Dot, who was somewhere up near the sky, called down to me: “Now Clare just put your right foot on this ledge, give me one hand and hang onto the rope with the other”. I glanced up and saw a slight indentation in the rock some feet above me. I wondered what dictionary Dot used and then, as I essayed this Gargantuan stretch at an angle of 89.9 degrees, I wished fervently that the Lord had provided me with elastic legs. However I scrambled up with no grace and a few grunts and joined Dot, Doris, Edna, Hilma and Alex at the entrance to a narrow canyon with a turbulent creek twisting among the rocks. Jack and Gordon soon joined us, Phillip shook each of us by the hand, bade us farewell and - there we were!
There was no earth in the canyon, only rocky slimy slippery rock. About 15 feet above us, there were ledges where ferns and small bushes began while far above towered the great trees and the sky was blue and serene.
We went for a few yards along the side of the stream, stepping most carefully on the slippery surface, slinking along narrow shelves with a hand that was a mere ripple in the rock. We came to a rock face lying at an angle of 45 degrees and skidded up this onto a shelf where shrubs and a few flowers grew. We couldn't get past this so decided we'd have to turn back and swim the creek. On the way down I was overcome by an overwhelming panic. My teeth began to chatter and my knees to shake. I could neither go on nor go back and I expected my feet to fly from under me at any moment. My heart just flew into my mouth and I was afraid it might be chopped into mincemeat by my chattering teeth so forced it back to its normal position and went on down. Luckily at this point I was alone. From now on my mind was a confused mass of impressions with a few incidents and feelings standing out in relief.
I know that I slipped and slithered over slimy rocks feeling that the next moment I might be walking up the Golden Stairs. I know that I scrambled and jumped, swam through icy cold water, pushing my pack wrapped in a ground sheet before me. I know that we laughed and joked and ate chocolate with considerable relish. I remember once jumping onto Gordon's shoulders with the light grace of an elephant. Gordon took it with a calm nonchalance that I envied. After negotiating a difficult spot I couldn't bear to look back at the person who followed for always I could hear that sickening crash on the slippery rock. I heaved myself up over rocks which only flies were ever meant to climb, always helped and encouraged by Dot, who drawled comfortingly above the constant tumult of the water, “Come on, you're doing splendidly”. I must have been a sa trial to her. She was splendid.
We had lunch on a rock the size of a pocket handkerchief and it was decided that we could go no further and would have to return. We had advanced about 700 yards in 7 hours.
The sun had gone and it was extremely cold, the water icy and the canyon seemed to be enveloped in a stygian gloom. Once I tied my pack carelessly and as it turned over and over when swimming it through the creek, the water seeped in adding pounds to its weight.
At last we reached the tree - Doris and Hilma were already down. Dot popped her head up and said, “Come on, we'll show these men we can get down without a rope”. Edna went first and as I waited I was for the second time overcome with panic, my knees shook and my stomach turned like a paddle wheel, I felt an overwhelming desire to burst into tears. Instead I burst into song and pitted my puny voice against the tumult of the falls. Then the thought came to me that I at least could hear my own voice weak though it might be, I could control my actions but the waterfall rushed on insentient; this reflection calmed me and an “I am the captain of my soulish” feeling came over me. All the same I longed for Alex to come with the rope. He didn't, and I got down the tree without mishap. I've heard of returning exiles kissing the soil of their native land. When I felt earth beneath my feet again I felt glad but didn't kiss it, instead I sat on it whenever possible. Narrow ledges which I had disregarded in the morning now appeared terrifying risks. I took them sitting down with the result that when we got back to the camp spot I had no seat in my pants, and I just didn't care.
The Horse Track was never ending to me; the tigers of course took it like an early morning stroll. We just caught the last train at Katoomba after a neck to neck race in a car from Blackheath. The trip was officially over but it wasn't over for me for many a long day or night. For long after I had only to close my eyes and pictures would rush before me with kaleidoscopic variety, precipitous drops, hurtling falls, forming and reforming, always different, always the same. But now I have settled down to a quiet life. I feel that I have “lived” - I have been a tiger for a day!
SBW Magazine 1947: "Sucked In"
by Sixpenny Bob
Have you been to Kanangra and back in a weekend? If not, one sound word of advice, don't ever attempt it.
It was one of those spine-bashing weekends at Marley, when our cobber, Eric Pegram, suggested the trip to Stan Madden and myself (the two suckers).
Immediately the trip was suggested we were eager to be off on the road. The next few weeks were filled with preparations for the trip and discussions of routes to be taken, gear needed, etc.
At last the great night arrived and a slight panic was created by one of the party, Stan, who turned up about 10 minutes later than the scheduled meeting time. However, all were present when the train departed.
We arrived at Katoomba and departed from the station by other means than the barrier (to save time of course) and straight into a car which took us out to the beginning of the Narrow Necks. After peeling off we set out for Splendour Rock, wearing shorts and boots only. Our first stop was at Diamond Falls, and we set off again laughing, joking, and talking of past experiences to pass the time away - walking along the Narrow Necks being very monotonous, as most bushwalkers know. We had chosen this particular week-end because of the full moon, so torches were seldom used. We dropped off Clear Hill and then rounded the bottom of Mt. Mouin, arriving at Splendour Rock at 12.30 a.m. and so to bed.
We were up and away before sunrise the next morning and down to the Cox River for breakfast which, by the way, consisted of goulash - something after the style of food which our rabid vegetarian friend Clem Hallstrom eats, only slightly more flavoured with raw peanuts and dates. All meals for the trip consisted of this tacky substance.
The next thing to be tackled was Strongleg Ridge, the real backbreaker of the trip. We started off in good spirits, and with high hopes. But when nearing the top you wouldn't have seen anyone so absolutely ruined in all your life as we three boys. We lunched at Dex Creek - the first water past the Cox River. After a good spell we pushed on up Cloud-Maker Mountain, where our honourable signatures were placed in the visitors' book, and then admired the glorious views to be obtained in all directions.
From Cloud-Maker to Kanangra was just plain murder. Each hour seemed like a year, and each mile like ten. Down Rip, Roar and Rumble we went, then up to Kraft's Walls. We never felt so sore and sorry for ourselves as then.
We reached Kanangra somewhere about 5 o'clock that afternoon, and after a drink and a spell we set off again that night for the Kowmung River via the Gingera Range. For a large part of the way down this range there is a good stock-route which made the going a lot easier and faster. However, when this branched off we dropped down into the Gingera Creek - quite accidentally, of course.
Parts of the old Cedar Road can be seen on this creek, and there are grassy flats all the way down to the Kowmung River. Walking down these out of the way creeks at night is very interesting, as all the wild-life, wallabies and wombats, etc., come down for a drink and dash off for their lives when they hear something coming. A startled wombat charged one of our members (of St. George Club) who suddenly woke up and dived to one side, the wombat rushing past and just brushing his legs. (A peculiar thing about this weekend was that three members of the St. George Club had decided to do the very same trip as us on that weekend, so we all want along together.) At ten o'clock we stopped walking, lit a fire to sleep by and then slept till dawn.
We moved off early again the next morning, reaching the Kowmung a mile further down.
We kept up a good pace going down the river to the Cox River and ran into much startled wild life. Fortunately we did not run into any snakes on the whole of the trip, which was surprising as the Kowmung is said to be the home of snakes.
All eyes were kept open looking for Mt. Cookem, which is at the junction of the Kowmung and Cox Rivers. “There's Cookem”, said Eric, who did the whole of the Kowmung last Christmas. But when we got round the bend, what did we find but another Mt. Cookem. This happened several times, till at last the right one loomed into view and when we least expected it we suddenly found ourselves at the Cox River once more. Here we had our lunch at eleven o'clock, after having a very refreshing dip in the river to revive us somewhat for the trip into Katoomba.
We left the Cox and headed up White Dog, which is the easiest of all the “Dogs” to climb, and which brought us to the bottom of Mt. Mouin. Incidentally, we stopped on White Dog to repair Stan's feet, the heels and soles of which were one big mass of sticking plaster.
After climbing Debert's Knob and Clear Hill we stopped at Glenraphael where we finished off the remains of our food with a good drink of water, the first since the Cox River.
No sooner had we departed for Diamond Falls than it began to rain cats and dogs. Normally we would have cursed the rain, but all were glad to see it this time as it refreshed our bodies and minds, as well as enabling us to keep up a good pace to Diamond Falls. It took us an hour and a half from Glenraphael to Diamond Falls, which was fairly fast going.
Our next stop was the good old “Paris” Cafe where we made up for lost time by eating milk shakes, apple pies, etc. and a nice hot meal.
It had taken us less than forty five hours to do the whole trip which was approximately 80 miles.
Although at the time I was thinking it was going to be the last walk I'd ever do, on looking back it was an experience none would have missed, and at the same time I say that our next trip there will be by car all the way there and back.
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Money Matters or Coinage Confusion
by Gordon Lee
We're lucky, we communicate in a language sometimes referred to as English. When divested of the “Strine” overtones and weeded of “Ockerisms”, what is left is generally unintelligible to most Australians, but understandable to most English-speaking Asians. So it is possible to get away with a monolinguistic approach. However one obstacle that was almost impossible to surmount without some effort was number.
Every country I travelled through had a different number system. To transact anything involving money it was generally necessary to do so in the native language, disregarding dialect. So it became one of the first chores when crossing a border to “swot” up on their number system. Some of these were more confusing than others. Even now my mind boggles when I think of the Nepalese way of computing; ek, dooce, tin, char, parnsh, chah/oo, saht, aht, nor, aarse - one to ten. As for the numerals, they were in Sanskrit. Take a tin of worms. Spread them in a line, then read from right to left - sanskrit. In Nepalese it didn't end there. When counting objects another system was employed. One of something was “yohtah”, two - “doocetah”, three -“tinohtah”. No use using this to count people, this required another set of names.
When confronted and confounded by optical as well as aural oddities the task of communicating numerically sometimes degenerated to the use of what must have been to the bystander a very complicated series of digital exercises.
“Thai” is tonal. If all the rest weren't enough to force you to the point of commital then this added horror was “the straw”. “Ky” means egg but “KY” means chicken, so your breakfast egg could turn out to be neck, breast and parson's nose simply because you'd sung it the wrong way.
The two most logical and straightforward enumerations were at either extremity of the journey - Afghanistan and Indonesia. Indonesian is made the more easy because the numerals are Arabic, the same as ours. However between these two there was plenty to baffle a poor simpleton such as I. So lend an ear if you wish to hear the ballad of a muddled mathematician.
Use “say”, “taegar” or “tin”,
For the country you're in,
To count the amount of your pay.
In Nepal your quota
May only lie “yohtah”,
Have a care and not throw it away.
In India the “anna”
Was quite an old manner
To balance at end of the day;
Sixteen of these made up your “Rupees”
If someone you had to repay.
But today it's the “paisa”
You get in your pay sir!
As you count in the now modern way.
When adding “Afghani”
You've obliged to use Farsi,
But please, watch what you say;
Use “hasht” for a “haft”
And they'll think you are daft,
And maybe will put you away.
Whether “empart” or “enarm”?
May pose quite a problem
In Java or Bali, but not Mandalay.
Here the business you're at
May be solved by a “chat”,
When computing at work or at play.
If you laugh or you grin
At the trouble we're in,
Be warned and don't got blase;
If the “land of the gin”
Lets the Japanese in,
Well, the “dee ye ken”, It'll all be in “yen”,
And your grin may be turned the other way.
For those ignorant peasants illiterate in Farsi, Urdu, Bahasa Indonesia, Nepali and Burmese I append the following glossary:-
Say, teega, tin: 3 in Farsi, Indonesian and Nepali/Hindi.
Yohtah: Nepali, counting objects.
Anna: Out of date coin in India.
100 paisa = 1 Rupee or Afghani.
Afghani: Unit of currency in Afghanistan.
Hasht, haft: Farsi 7 and 8.
Empart and enarm: 4 and 6 in Indonesian.
Chat or more properly Kyat: Unit of currency in Burma.
“Land of the gin”: Australia.