Aboard Asama Maru

Wednesday, October 16, 1929

Wednesday, October 32, 1929

Not luney

Splendid weather conditions continue as does attendance at meals—proportional factors. Breakfast is the exception. I am the only one who rolls out in response to the call of chow-chow. The reason—one meal missed can not be made up. One is served one helping of everything, no more. If a second piece of bread is asked for, you are refused. Only in the presence of the chief steward do the barriers fade away and bread flows freely.

Our table is a jolly good one—always full of fun and laughs. They seem to be more choicey as to the dishes they eat than I am. Hope this doesn’t make me a pig—but one can not be a pig because his plate always leaves empty. Guess I have no taste left after the junk I have put in my cast-iron stomach the last year. Mud, potatoes, wine—all the same. Ice cream and pie are still distinguishable.

If cups appear on the table, the dessert will be a fruit custard affair or an apple. If cups are absent, the dessert will be a sherbet masked as ice cream. If cups are absent (and there are no glasses), the water is cold and tea hot; if present, vice-versa. Such is life in a great city, but better than scraping over a bucket of rice with a dozen hungry Japanese or trying to enjoy some spaghetti with a score of curious Italian marines regarding the technique displayed.

The past, present and future of my steerage friends is interesting, and among them I find several young Japanese men who are on their way either to Honolulu or America to study in our universities. They are more than eager to talk with you—I suspect more to learn English than anything else, although one chap has been inquiring about our customs of ettiquette (love spelling), etc. As to the future, some of these boys hope to teach in Japan. The Japanese is very bright and clever—like the Indian, and it seems I am slowly becoming an English teacher, as if I spoke such perfect grammar.

Don’t know what Sonia’s (Latvia) aspirations are, but I have warned her the first requisite of a good wife is to produce good apple pies. As to the three Americans, one of Russian descent has sold a confectionery business in Frisco to visit his folks in the old country. The other two have been to Russia for several months as experts in Russia’s new canning industry. Four modern plants for canning fish, lobsters, etc. have been constructed in the last four years with one planned for next.

As for me—time will tell.

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