I have been having a gay time the last days

Posted: October 14, 2015 by tripmanic in 1915

I have been having a gay time the last days, in fact, I am just feeling well enough to enjoy myself, and so I am making up for lost time.

Tuesday afternoon I went into town, as per usual, with a couple of chaps from the tent (Sgts. Shepherd 1st.Lt. Horse, and Coleman 3rd Brigade, Field Artillery) they are a couple of fine fellows.

We started off with a light lunch and then went to a Vaudeville Theatre. It is the Jardine Rosette, run by the same people as the Kuraal in Cairo. Of course all the show was in French, but it was very good. There was a remarkably clever illusionist and conjurer. After the performance we had a dinner – six courses.

During the course of the day I purchased a small metal tray that rather took my fancy. It is worked with Arabic figures and writing. I posted it home to you, also a couple of boxes of Regie Turkish Cigarettes which I can recommend, I hope the whole lot arrives safely.

Yesterday I managed to collect another 2 pounds. This makes 10 pounds I have drawn in a fortnight. If one wants to live at all decently here, it takes a lot of cash. Yesterday I went into town with a Sgt. Bunny from the 11th Battalion, he is an elderly man. He had a good education, travelled a lot, and knocked about all over the place. I got on very well with him.

We took a taxi out to some catacombs, a mile or two out, and looked round there. They  were built by the Romans and have only been opened fourteen years. The entrance is down a spiral stairway of stone, and then just one mass of tunnels and rooms – they are in groups. One family would have a room, and all their dead would be put in there. The coffins were just recesses out in the rock and the entrance filled up with a slab of stone, and plastered over. There must have been  room for several hundreds of bodies.

There are bones and jars lying about everywhere, most of the bones are crumbly and powder at the touch. Every now and then there is a deep well with water in it. The whole place is made out of solid sandstone.

The workmanship doesn’t appear to me to be as good as the ancient Egyptians did. In one or two places there were a few carvings etc. of Gods of various descriptions. The whole place had a dank musty air about it. After the ride we went to a café for dinner. It was a most excellent dinner and very cheap too (for Egypt). We did the thing properly, with cigars and liqueurs to follow. Next came the Casino Belle Vue –  a big house of entertainment. They have a mixed show of vaudeville and pictures. There was a very clever Japanese troupe of athletes and jugglers. Afterwards we had a regular supper or second dinner. You must think I spend all my time and money eating – well so I do.

I find I can’t get well and put any flesh on in the mess, so I am feeding up, and am getting quite fleshy on it. I don’t scratch my fingers now when I feel my ribs. I weighed the other day, and found I was about a stone lighter than I should be, so am taking measures as before mentioned.

There were rumours that we were to be off tomorrow, but so far nothing has been heard, so most probably it is another successful rumour that everyone has got hold of.

Since I have been back this time I have made some fine friends. This continually knocking about tends to draw a man out. The more I rub up against other fellows, the less I find that I know. Some of these chaps who have been everywhere, and done everything are a treat to know.

I saw Pompi’s Column yesterday, in my travels. It is a fine bit of work. It is a tall cylindrical mass of granite. It must be about five feet in diameter and about sixty feet in height. It is the only relic about – it stands in a desolate waste of sand all on its own. As far as I can remember Pompi, or Pompey, was a great Roman General who assisted in the invasion of Egypt.


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