Port Said, Egypt

Wednesday, February 20, 1929

Cloudy weather and a cold wind have not helped to make it especially nice today. The French ship Indrapoer is in and even the hawkers claim business is good. I certainly succeed in missing about everything that would be an experience: a revolt in Spain, sub-zero weather throughout most of Europe with trains snowed in and hundreds dying of cold and hunger around Poland, Austria, and Hungary. Wolves are even attacking people in some districts, and Berlin had the coldest weather since 1797 or thereabouts, around 13° or 20° below freezing. Boats were unable to make port at Marseilles because of the wind and seas; cold weather on the Riviera; and food one-third higher in price because of the difficulty of obtaining it. Riots in Colombo and more in Bombay where, up to February 16, 137 had been killed and over 873 injured, with shops all closed down. The trouble is over a strike, and is between the Moslems and Hindus. Thousands dying of hunger in China, so many that the bodies are dumped in shallow trenches outside the towns where the wolves and dogs dig them up for food. Trouble all  around—yet the most exciting thing I saw today was a Moslem with his little string of amber beads, slipping them along the string one at a time, saying Mohammed for every bead that goes by. [Ed.: does anyone know of a source of information about this terrible winter in Eurasia?]

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