Saigon, French Indo-China

Monday, August 12, 1929

Dead, dead day. No mail, no nothing. Borrowed some comic magazines from the Consulate and have wasted all afternoon reading them. It is worth it though, for you really find some clever pictures instead of smutty ones as in the French comics, and then you can enjoy the jokes. French jokes seem to be terribly flat—undoubtedly—after I have thumbed the dictionary for half the words.

This life is getting to be too useless to even be funny. Like everything except the inaction and will be glad to move on again. Can’t see how the hotel makes any money on the food end of the game—these huge eight-course meals twice a day with such a variety of dishes, etc. Then there are about eight waiters, a couple of ice boys and a head waiter—all to serve about a dozen people, hardly ever over 15 at one time eating. Besides this there are a mess of waiters in the café end of it. If an American had this he would have it down to a half dozen waiters and three or four courses in no time at all. At last I’m tired of eating. The Americans, French, and especially the English eat far too much food. Half would do as well. Don’t know about Germany as I didn’t eat enough there to find out.

They do have a smart trick here though. When you order a drink, it is brought on a saucer, perhaps two, and thereon you will find the price—printed on the plate, or the sum of two plates may be the bill. Another neat idea in the hotel here seems to be to turn the water off at sometime during the early morning so you can’t get a shower till about eight-thirty. Needless to say, it encourages sleeping later.

A mandolin has been added to the cause—horns, violin, drums, victrolas!

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