Aid in India

Last month our daughter lost her passport and airline ticket one day before she was due to leave India, returning home after having worked there for eight months. We are writing to share with others two important steps that made that anxious, confusing time easier:

Our daughter had completed a registration form at the U.S. Embassy shortly after her arrival in the country (indicating her whereabouts as well as her passport information). This made it possible for the embassy to reissue her a new passport within 24 hours. (It would otherwise have taken four to six days.)

We contacted the Citizens Consular Services (CCS) of the U.S. State Department (647-3926) whose task it is to help U.S. travelers in need. They were able to telex the embassy with essential information that we were unable to call through because of a national telephone strike in India. They also would have sent money for us if that had been necessary and obtained a response for us in less than 48 hours. Without their help it would have taken two to four weeks to get her out.

Sandra H. Pratt Rockville

Glacier National Park

I found the Ways & Means information on getting to Glacier National Park {Travel, July 22} incomplete. Amtrak's Empire Builder stops daily at East Glacier, Essex and West Glacier. The writer should get his nose out of the clouds! In addition, besides numerous good accommodations at East and West Glacier, Essex also has a rare gem: the Izaak Walton Inn.

Michael Koch Annandale

Tipping

It is commendable that James T. Yenckel does not tip less when he is traveling on business than when he is traveling on his own money (Fearless Traveler, "How Not to Save Money on Expense Accounts," Travel, July 15). However, he should give serious consideration to the amount he tips housekeepers ($1 a night) compared with the amounts he gives bellhops ($1 to $1.50 a bag).

Bellhops (who invariably are male) place your bag on a pushcart, roll it into the elevator, roll it down to your room and then make pleasant chitchat while waiting for their handout. If you're lucky, a bellhop may even exert himself by demonstrating that the television works as he waits for you to take out your wallet.

By contrast, housekeepers (who invariably are female) change the sheets, make the beds, vacuum the rooms, replace the towels and clean the toilets, the tubs and the sinks. All this for $1 a night? And many travelers leave no tip for the housekeeper. This is but another example of the continuing undervaluation of work traditionally done by women and provides yet a further illustration of why women make only a fraction of what men earn. How about $5 a night for the housekeeper?

Judith E. Schaeffer Washington

Virginia Woolf's House

On a trip to England in April, I referred to the article "Literary Villages of London" {Travel, Dec. 3, 1989} for information about Virginia Woolf's house at 46 Gordon Square. It listed Holborn as the nearest Underground station, so I went there and asked directions to Gordon Square. I was told that I must go to Euston Station. This I did and then it was only a couple of minutes' walk up Gordon Street to Gordon Square.

I knew, as the article stated, that the Woolf house wasn't open to the public, but I knocked on the door anyway and the guard (or caretaker) answered. After hearing of the difficult time I had had finding the house, he said he couldn't let me go away. He invited me in and gave me a private tour of the house, telling me a lot about Virginia and her sister when they lived there. What a treat it was.

Gladys Nichols Fairfax

The Travel section welcomes letters from readers. They must be signed and include the writer's home address and daytime telephone number. Space limitations may necessitate the editing of letters, which should be sent to: The Travel Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.