JJ Rowe Diary: 8 Mar 1889

Introduction

Joseph tells us about seeing unfamiliar birds, and encounters trains for the first time since leaving England. Pollie has an encounter with a snake charmer.

Snake charmer

WARNING: This is a transcription of an historical document. Some of the diary entries contain offensive language and stereotypes that must be understood in the context of the times. Such language and stereotypes are not acceptable today and are not condoned by the author of this blog.

The Diary Entry

8.3.89 Friday

Was woke about 4 am by some Artillery going away by train. A Bomadier of the Artillery was shouting a Caby about getting some change. He had been drinking the night before & was up too late to get his baggage on the bullock waggon, so he had to hire & a fine Paddy he was in too for fear he should be late.

We feel in for roll Call at 7 AM. Had eggs & fried beef for breakfast & fruit. (Arms) rifle & baynets & Sword inspection at 9.30 & kit inspection for the men at 10.30.

Pollie saw a snake charmer this morning. He had a mongoss with him, what kill snake’s. A little boy & a blind man come singing this morning. They sing God Save the Queen & took their hats off, before they went away.

There is thousands of crows about here, so we hear nothing but caw, caw & Jack Daws by hundred’s & Hawks very large, what they call Sky{?} Hawkes. You are not allowed to kill any of them as they fly away with any stuff laying about, old bones pieces of meat & rags or anything. They are fare Scavenger.

The negros sweep the tents out & all round the camp. Had a good currie Stew for dinner & biscuits, powder pudding & fruit.

Any amount of travelling cheap. Jacks pay us a visit & shoemaker & barber’s. A barber will shave you for two pies (that a half penny).

Had roll call again at 4.30 pm & then tea. We can have tea what time we like, as we have only to tell the coolie. About 7 pm Armour{?} Sergt Grundy & myself went for a walk up to Bombay. There is most magnificent building that ever I saw far better place to get about than Gibr as it is level. After we had walked as far as we thought fit, we took a tram, back to Colaba, which was only a Anna each. Tram run here all roads just the same as they do in London & rail roads too. It was a treat to us to see a train again, as we have only saw one train on the move at Suez since we left England. Had some nice pork for supper in Grundys tent & then we went off to our own tent & went to bed.

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