Port Said, Egypt

Thursday, March 7, 1929

The joke is on me. Had a letter from Dad today saying my check is in Bombay—and here I am 3,059 miles away with just $1.67 exactly. Mail took 26 days to Cairo. Today was another of those big clean-up affairs. I started trimming my hair. Once I start it is hard to stop. Consequently I cut plenty off the sides and hacked away at the back where I couldn’t see, but left all on top alone. Feels pretty good in back, but probably doesn’t look it. Down in the cellar again tonight. Jak wants to make me a Moslem and give me a fez and shirt. Tonight I learned that only the white flies are souls of those departed. Bugs, trees, flowers, animals, and all living things worship God. When a Moslem eats or drinks and is satisfied, he always thanks God by saying “alhambulelam”, rather “al hambul Elam” or what sounds like it. They are not to drink liquors but many do. There is a light wine or beverage they do drink. Prayer at 4:30AM—11:30 to 11:45—3:30PM to 3:45—5:30—or 6:45 or thereabouts. The hours are only approximate, the main thing is to pray five times a day at a time near these hours. In the morning before the first prayer he washed his hands, then his lips and teeth with his forefingers of both hands, then his eyes, nose, and ears; forearm right and left, and legs and supposedly the body, all the time repeating parts from the Koran. Each Ramadan the Moslem must give 2½% of his earnings to the poor. Of course, not many comply with this faithfully, especially the rich. Also, twice during Ramadan the rich must feed the poor, and with the same food he himself is used to eat. Mohammedanism is a hard religion and its followers seem much more faithful on the whole than are Christians. They do not hesitate to kneel down and pray before several strangers or by the side of the street—a thing you would hardly see a Christian do.

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