(Oct. 1933) Baba was quite upset when he was not able to get hot water on time for a bath. He called Herbert, who had made the arrangements, and rebuked him severely, “I cannot work here! I will leave for Marseilles. With you taking care of me, I have never been able to have an early-morning hot bath in the West!” All wondered why Baba was scolding Herbert, as Baba himself had chosen to stay at this hotel over another one.
He ordered Norina and Herbert, “Go and see the travel agent and demand that we change hotels.” Upon contacting the agent, it was learned that, due to some mix-up, they were staying in the very hotel that Baba had rejected. Only then could they understand why Baba had been upset.
They transferred at noon to the Grand Hotel Londres, at Galdo Number 2, and it proved to be ideal. Baba’s room overlooked the Puerta del Sol. But he soon began complaining that there was not enough garlic and pepper in the food. This was Norina’s area of responsibility and she became frantic as she ran up and down three flights of stairs to the kitchen before every meal to ensure there was plenty of garlic in the food. The staff must have thought her somewhat eccentric, but the very reason Baba complained was to draw the hotel staff’s attention to him. His work was unique and he would have his purpose served under any pretext.
Baba would placate Norina, spelling out to her, “Don’t worry … don’t be upset.” But whenever Baba reprimanded her, she felt like someone was sticking a pin in her while saying, “Now, do not mind this … I am not hurting you!”
In the evening, Baba went to hear beautiful Spanish music, and he also saw the exquisitely artistic and charming dancing of La Argentinita, a renowned Spanish dancer. They then went to the riverside Capitol Cafe, where Baba would sometimes place a lavish order for drinks or snacks and then suddenly get up, not touching them and leaving everyone to run after him. This tended to get on Herbert’s nerves, in particular, because he spent money on Baba’s trip and considered this an utter waste! He had not learned, and unfortunately never did, to accept the Master’s ways.
Lord Meher, American ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 5, p. 1835 – 1836.