Port Said, Egypt

Wednesday, January 30, 1929

Outside of a very strong, cool east wind, the day has been perfect. We sighted land about 9:30AM and by twelve were slowly entering the canal by the city. At the canal’s entrance is a large monument to de Lesseps. There is a marvelous big sandy bathing beach along the seafront. Flocks of small motor boats followed us down the canal, where we finally landed a little below the town of Port Said. I just had time for lunch before the tender went ashore. Talk about porters! I had to fight them off until I had left customs. They try to take your suitcase away from you and won’t go away. I parked my stuff at Cook’s and walked all around with Jim. Men and boys selling jewelry, candy, cigarettes, canes, postcards, etc. in the street crowded around us and followed us up the streets, refusing to leave. You would have eight or ten after you at once. It was funny for a while, but it got to be too much so when they hung on I got sore and pointed down the street and told them to beat it. If they refused, they got a nice helping on their way by force. [Dad???!!!] Once Jim got sore and rolled up his sleeves and started after one pest, who didn’t lose any time making tracks. Out of the main streets, the kids all followed us. Jim gave one a 25-centime French coin which he refused. To stop it all, he threw a ha’penny way down the street. There was a regular street fight for a couple of minutes and then they all came back for more. I gave it to them by starting after the whole bunch and chased them down the street. I bought a helmet for 6 bob and a pair of sunglasses to protect my eyes from the glare and sand, for 4 bob. Landing charges 3 bob 3d.

We met some more boys from the ship and looked ¬†around until nearly five when I took leave of them. “Fools do come and fools do go, but I’m as dumb as e’er they grow.”

Leaving one bag at Cook’s, I started out for Cairo carrying the other. For a number of miles the canal, road, and RR pass along south with the sea on each side. By the time I had reached the Ormonde, it was getting dark and the wind was filling les yeux with sand. When I had gone 4 miles, I decided it was foolish to walk to Cairo, especially walking all night. I had no idea of the roads and my shoes had big holes in the soles. I walked back to town. The Ormonde was just ready to sail and looked a fine sight all lit up.

Got a 4-bob room in the Continental Hotel for 3 bob. Most people speak English here, but French and of course Arabic are also spoken. The natives are of dark complexion and wear their fez and robes and some turbans. Oriental shops are thick here. This is a pretty cool night if you ask me.

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