We have arrived

Posted: December 6, 2014 by saraherhodes in 1914

Our trip is over, we have arrived.  We came up the full extent of the harbor tonight, and have been alongside the Quay for a couple of hours.  It is one of the most interesting scenes of my life.  One reads of oriental scenes, but it has to be seen to be realized, it cannot be described.  On all hands are dark passionate faces, crowned with ubiquitous fez, and talk of coats of many colours, there is anything from canary yellow to bright blue, bright red to deep black, and there are the lower classes, clad in rags and dirt.  Our chaps were throwing coppers to the beggars on the pier, and wild scenes ensured. Bodies piled on bodies, men hit each other over the head with wood or anything that came handy. It generally takes 40 natives to move a gangway that 4 Englishmen would move, and as some were pushing along with their head serang keeping them up to their work with a whip, the pennies proved too great a temptation and they broke away to chase all over the wharf.  There was a puny Egyptian Policeman trying to clear the wharf, and he was quite helpless until an Officer commanded the men to cease throwing pennies.

These men cannot be trusted, they have violent tempers, and are regardless of what injury they inflict.  A couple of boatmen had a dispute over the ownership of a piece of rope – before a minute they were at it, one with the tiller of his boat and the other with an oar; I believe one would have been killed, had they not been separated.  After they had been pulled apart they satisfied themselves by throwing tomatoes at each other, and calling each other choicest names imaginable, judging from their expressions.

All is bustle and excitement and noise aboard now. We disembark for Cairo tomorrow morning. Several of us are cabling you “All well”.


Current location:

ColoniesMap1914 19141206


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