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important than he really is. ‘But in most respects he is
employed by a native, though he prefers running water if he can get it. )(He loves washing his hands under a running tap, and sucks the tap too, when he is thirsty. The suffragi class are much cleaner in their persons than the fellahin, and much pleasanter to deal with than the ordinary effendi, who is generally a Nationalist, and, even when he is not, is "merely a swollen-headed idiot as a rule." to quote the classic columns of an Egyptian newspaper.
(The Egyptian maidservant is on: but you cannot get one unless you are married. In the Sudan, as in Japan, the English bachelor may have a temporary wife, who is also his servant, without causing any trouble. KThere is no resentment on the part of the relatives. A servant is sent to make the arrangements, and a sum down is agreed upon and paid. After that she has her board and lodging, like a servant, an receives a sum for dresses and so on. But this is not usual in Egypt, though the same kind of thing may go on in a house, where the master is married, without causing any trouble such as would ensue in a fanatical Moslem country like Persia, or even Tunis. The fact of the woman being employed in “a married family" makes it all right. J \ Slavery is by no means dead in Egypt, though it is kept out of sight of foreigners. There is a very famous café in the Esbekiya where all the girls have been bought. There is also a proverb that “In the Sudan a fiver will buy you an o
Café-life is increasing both in Cairo and the provinces. The average Egyptian suffragi, above all the Berberine, spends all his evenings in cafés, and his evenings go very far into the night. j This is not the only temptation cafés present for one's servants. Ramidge had a suffragi who could never be found when he was wanted. The reason was that, finding that Ramidge was rather easy-going, he took another job at a café round the corner, and only put in an appearance at Ramidge's when he was fetched, except at certain stated times when he knew that he would be wanted; and Ramidge never found it out till the other suffragi told him about it after the dismissal of this Berberine Box and
Cox. The cooking is nearly always done on charcoal stoves,
life was impossible without mechanically produced music or mechanically removed dust. (The Egyptian servant always looks well. He is, if a Mohammedan, clean and well-shaven. I prefer him simply in a spotless white galabeah with a scarlet tarboosh and sash, but admit that he is a sumptuous-looking person when attired in a rich silk galabeah, or fine cloth breeches and bolero / When you lunch or dine out with residents, you are struck by the dignity and orderliness of their households in the hands of native menservants. The footman is, I should say, not so rich in humours as the man-housemaid, who is the Egyptian servant that I know best, in his capacity of cabin-steward or hotel bedroom boy. At one hotel I found Hassan polishing the floor with the Wren's paste I had taken out for cleaning my brown boots. It acted so well that, coming into my bedroom with a loaded tea-tray, he slid over on its glassy surface, and spoilt it with scalding tea and broken china. Huntley & Palmer's biscuits are his greatest comfort. He does not have to waste his afternoons in cutting thin bread-and-butter, because the Anglo-Egyptian puts up with biscuits for afternoon tea. And if the tourist wishes to have breakfast uncomfortably early, he has not to hunt up the baker, and get the butter off the ice; he simply produces biscuits, He can clean boots well: he is noted for the resplendence of his own. But he often kills two birds with one stone by leaving yours uncleaned. The hotel people, he says, will not give him any stuff to clean them with. You either expostulate with the manager, or, if you are idle, give him money to buy some. He avoids blame, and lays up a store of nugget, black or brown, for his own use, or sells it back to the shop. That is one of his ways of getting bakshish. He is not so ill-mannered as to ask for it, and is politely grateful for the smallest mercies in this direction.
How Foreigners Live in Cairo
44 ENTLEMEN,” said the Governor of Damietta, “always live in flats or hotels. The other class live in pensions sometimes.” I asked him what he meant by the other class. He said, “Oh, clerks, and people in shops." They too, of course, live for the most part in cheaper houses and flats, though the number of pensions is growing in Egypt now, and gentlemen, when they are married, often have houses, and not flats. The Governor's enunciation therefore comes down to this, that the well-off young man who is not married would not like to be seen at a pension. The Governor forgot the man who lives at the club ; but there is not accommodation for very many, though a great many take their meals there by contract. ( At the Turf Club at Cairo, which is the most popular in Egypt, a man can have a bedroom and board, including everything but drinks and washing, for £12 a month. And he can have all his meals there, without a bedroom, for 366- a month.) ( Living in Egypt is decidedly expensive. Ten pounds in London is equal to twenty pounds in Cairo on a small salary, but five hundred a year in England is not equal to a thousand a year in Egypt.) A young engineer I knew, who had eleven pounds a month when he left England, began at thirty pounds a month in Egypt. But the unfortunate clerk, who gets eight pounds a month in England, might not get more than twelve pounds in Egypt, where high pay only goes with positions of responsibility. |A clerkship is not considered a