3 2 0 D O C . 3 7 9 T R A V E L D I A R Y J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 3 took 2 rickshaw men, one of whom was an absolutely naked primitive, the other a former Hagenbeck zoo elephant-keeper, who enthused about Hamburg.[195] They drove us through the little town, its main row of houses like single houses ducked under palm groves. We were gawked at everywhere just as at home the Sinhalese are. Then, visit to a fishing village. Children stark naked, men loincloth. Handsome people. Fishing boats made of two rig- idly attached narrow parallel pieces. Great speed but uncomfortable sitting. Boat came home with many fishes and a swarm of en- vious crows. Then past bay and rivulet, before which we saw at a distance of 12 m a large crocodile lying in the grass that, after being pelted with stones and screamed at by many natives, very slowly waddled into the water. Then, European restaurant and train. The English administer faultlessly without needless chicanery. From no one did I hear words of discontent against them, not even from a Sin- halese teacher who traveled along as a steerage passenger from Penang to Colom- bo. The rickshaw man was so delighted by us or, resp., our 5 rupees, that he brought bananas to us at the station in farewell. At the station we also made the acquain- tance of a pretty-as-a-picture fine young Sinhalese woman with sister and mother, village aristocrats. But they had a Dutch great-grandfather. Rarely have I ever seen anything so fine. Particularly magnificent starry sky. Homeward trip still hot and teeming with mosquitoes in the carriage, which in this swampy rice region was quite unsettling. Upon arrival back in Colombo the rickshaw coolies descended upon us. We surrendered ourselves to them after long useless resistance. They re- garded it as an insult for a European to travel on foot. Then, trip by rowboat to ship in rough waters with Else’s deathly fear and severe remonstrances. Afterwards on board, quenching of dreadful thirst. At night almost no cooling down. Daytime temp. about 29 degrees in the steamship in the well-ventilated section unusually cool for this region. 22nd. Final draft of paper on gravitation and electricity.[196] Sea voyage extremely pleasant without noteworthy experiences. Japanese meal with captain. Wonderful star-spangled clear evenings. Temperature drops slowly with distance from the equator. Telegrams about the French marching into the Ruhr region, no wiser than 100 years ago.[197] 31st. On the Red Sea, first a constant 28–29 degrees with almost clear skies. Fabulous sunsets with yellowish red to purplish red sky and jagged islets glaringly lit up or in sharp dark silhouette. Today arrival in Suez. Deeply blue, remarkably transparent sea. Sky lightly veiled in mist. Silvery dull col- [p. 32] [p. 32v] [p. 33]
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