Cairo, Egypt

Sunday, March 10, 1929

Yesterday afternoon I went in the market for a brass coffee set. The Egyptians are very good at brass work and sell plenty of it. After the cocoa in the evening, Jak and I went to a friend’s shop where we finally got a dandy set for £3.5. It is of hammered brass with silver. The boys came back last night and Jak was up in the room till 12:30. Then when he left, we sat up till after three. I was plenty fed because I didn’t go to Luxor with them. In fact, the thought spoiled my sleep and I got up at seven. By eight I had decided to go to Luxor after all. I haven’t seen Egypt till I’ve been up the Nile. So I packed my junk and left it with them, put a couple of things in a knapsack and, forgetting the tin containing my comb, tooth-brush, shaving outfit, etc., left at noon. They are lending me the money for everything. This will sink me financially, but it will be worth it I am sure.

It is a beautiful day but the desert ride is a terribly dusty one. I feel like a dust road now, sitting in a Finnish Restaurant in Cairo, waiting for the chef to come so I can have a famous Omelette Special. The usual crowd of noisy natives filled the car. And dirt! Dust so thick you couldn’t see the color of the seats and all through the air. A mother across the aisle half undressed her two-year-old en route and let her do tricks on the floor of the aisle.

The dust mostly disappeared when we came to the fertile irrigated section after a couple of hours. Here oxen pulled crude wooden plows through the fields, others turned old wooden water-wheels for the irrigation ditches, the same as 4,000 years ago. Donkeys or camels passed along the road or stood in the fields while the family worked at tilling or digging—all barefooted. A few native boats slipped along the small canal. Mud villages under the tall palms whisked by, and finally on the right the pyramids loomed on the horizon. I have a two-hour wait now till seven, then an all-night ride to Luxor. Fare E£1.19.

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