Meher Baba copyright 1987 Charlie Mills

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1518PORTOFINO1933

Chanji now realized the significance of Baba's words. He felt bad and dreaded facing Baba, who would have to bear the eleven-day journey in a tiny, hot cabin with no window to the sea. Chanji never did find out what had gone wrong. After great difficulty and much argument with the steward and purser (whom they threatened with canceling their entire trip), they managed to change Baba's cabin to an outside one (No. 339).

On his fifth foreign journey, Baba sailed from Bombay on the steamship Victoria accompanied by Chanji, Pendu, Adi Jr., Kaka and Dadu. The voyage to Genoa was horrible. Baba's mood was ill-tempered, as even the new cabin was cramped and the mandali were not often permitted to see him, as they were traveling in a different, lower class and passengers from there were not permitted on Baba's deck. Making matters worse, practically all of them were seasick. Kaka stayed with Baba the entire voyage, although the cabin was small even for one person.

As usual two or three maharajas were on board, but Baba did not wish to meet anyone. To avoid being recognized, he walked in areas of the ship meant only for the crew. Stopping in Aden on 16 June, however, Baba allowed some local Parsi lovers to come aboard for his darshan. On the 18th, he briefly met Nanabhai Janglewala, who held a high judicial post in Bombay (the Presidency Magistrate), along with his wife and son.

A week later on 23 June 1933, Baba reached Genoa and was met by Kitty and Minta. After staying for two days in the Hotel Astoria Belgrano, they were joined by Norina, Elizabeth and Anita de Caro, who arrived to drive them to Santa Margherita. Elizabeth had rented the Villa Altachiara overlooking the Mediterranean from atop a cliff off Portofino's main piazza. Baba, the mandali and Westerners moved in on 28 June; however, the villa was not large enough to accommodate all of them and another house in Santa Margherita was also leased.

This time in Italy, Baba kept everyone busy, especially with writing, typing and other such work. Kitty and Minta had arrived in Portofino ahead of the group to prepare the house. Kitty was to supervise everything. Her brother Herbert arrived from China on 4 July;  Otto Haas-Heye, Hedi Mertens and her fifteen-year-old daughter Annakatharina Roelli came from Zurich; Enid arrived from Milan; Victor and Alice Trau-Fisher came from Vienna.

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