Karachi, India

OK Thursday Saturday, April 6 4, 1929 Thursday, April 4, 1929

Cranes and whistles spoiled all chances of any sleep after 4 or 5AM. It was dark and I could see the lights of Karachi in the distance. We crawled in and docked about 7:30. Customs didn’t miss going through our stuff, through every little package and book, and lastly through our clothes.

The city is 4 or 5 miles away and we couldn’t carry the luggage on a street car, so we had to get a cab. Finally got a room in a native hotel in the native quarter for 4 rupees a day for a nice big corner room and a little room for a bath. As a rupee is worth about 37¢, it is costing us 49¢ a day apiece. A fan goes with the room for four hours a day. Beds consist of a square frame with a cross-work of canvas strips. A thin comfort is laid over it.

After lunch we walk to the cantonment or English section and bought helmets and shorts for Frank and Mort and some other necessities. On the way back we stopped in a restaurant to get our lunch-dinner. M and F had steak and chips for 13¢ per and I mutton and rice @ the same. The water is not so good, so we get lemonade or tea for 3¢ and 2¢. Back to the hotel I developed 4 rolls of films. I was sitting on a bed writing “beds consist” when I saw a huge bed-bug and some children traveling across the cover toward me. Well, after a couple of months of them in Europe, I was fed to say the least. Frank and I had a fit, but Mort hauled out his Unity as a protection. [What is this??] Now everything is itching. Twelve o’clock—only 6 more hours to go. Might as well write all night, maybe take a few hours off in a chair. No rest for the wicked—and I’ve had durned little sleep since March 10. Mort’s Unity seems to be weakening and we are going out to see the night-life of Karachi. Frank is too sleepy and is on the floor knocking it off.

Karachi is a large city of well over 200,000 [18.5 million in 2010]. It is a big seaport. It is much spread out, and from the boat to our “menagerie” is about 2 or 3 miles. Then on to the cantonment is a couple of miles more. Principal streets are very wide and things are far from crowded. The open manner in which houses and buildings are constructed is interesting. Our room or “zoo” is nearly all windows. Sparrows do not seem the least disturbed by our presence and flit about the room, flying in and out at will. There are plenty of nice red ants on the floor and a few mosquitoes that are so far only a threat—all besides our newest discovered lodgers. The street car on which we returned to the hotel this afternoon is run by a gasoline motor, but operated somewhat similarly to an electric tram. They are all open. Today was a scorcher. Was just in one continual sweat all day. It does not get dark until nearly 8PM.

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