Entry dated :: November 9, 1991
Thimphu, Bhutan

  The Kingdom of Bhutan, shut in on all sides by 20,000 foot high eastern Himalayan mountains, may be the most isolated country in the world-- a virtue that greatly appealed to Jimmy Goldsmith.  It has only one paved air strip, under the Tiger Claw Monastery at Paro, so Jimmy's pilots had to spend a week in the lynx trainer in London practicing the approach, so they could land his G-2b yesterday.

    In Thimphu, we are met by Prince Lhenduo "Lenny" Dorji, the King's uncle. Lenny, who helped set up our trip, was a Charles Bronson look alike. I first met him Cornell.  He then returned to Bhutan, became prime minister (a position to which the Dorji family has a hereditary right), then got into trouble and went into exile in Nepal, where I ran into him again at a New Year Eve party.  Soon afterwards, his niece married the king, and he was allowed to return to Bhutan. His attractive 28-year old daughter, Khendum, who flew in with us, was given the national travel concession (even though only a few hundred tourists a year were given visas), so were were treated very well. Lenny was off to lead a Buddhist procession up a mountain. He proposes a banquet for us at his home on his return.

      Khendum, meanwhile, takes Jimmy, his girl friend Laure Boulay, and myself of a tour of the royal palaces, the herbal medicine hospital, and the archery competition.  She says that in Bhutan there are no lawyers, no television, and no movie theaters.  We also learn divorce is instantaneous, and, instead of a GNP, there is a National Happiness Product.  The idea of an alternative Utopia favorably impresses Jimmy.




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