2nd day [aboard the Djemnah] (12 May 1882 [-- Friday])

This morning it rained heavily. The sea was agitated but it does not rock the ship yet. We met one ship which is quite large, although smaller than the Djemnah; but we left it behind in less than a quarter of an hour. Traveling with us, I'm told, are one French, forty Dutch, several English and Spaniards, and many Siamese. The last ones are very mischievous and as yet little civilized. The little ones speak a jargon of their own and do nothing but laugh.

I'm reading Walter Scott's Charles the Bold [Quentin Durward], which is in French.

This morning, after breakfast, the Dutch played a game similar to tabilla. The Dutch girls, who are pretty and approaching the age of puberty, helped them by picking up the disks from the floor. Seeing these girls in their beautiful attire run after the disks to hand them to the players is surprising to one who is familiar with Spanish arrogance.

During the dinner, the conversation was in French. More and more I observe the exquisite service that we have here. Very early in the morning the boy cleans all the shoes and he is always at our service.

The berths have spring beds which are very cool. The cleaning is carefully done and everywhere can be seen the most fastidious tidiness.

The Siamese have told me in semi-English, mimic jargon, that they are Buddhists and not Christians.

Everything that is happening here is amusing. I'm with a German, an Englishman, and a Dutchman. I realize that this is a small Babel.


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