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HINTS FOR THE TROOPS., Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2437, 16 April 1915
HINTS FOR THE TROOPS.
CONDITIONS IN EGYPT . WHAT TO AVOID. Captain Bean, the Official Correspondent with the Australian troops, has published a valuable little guide for Australasian soldiers under the title "What to Know in Egypt." Anything more, useful to men strange to the country and living under tho conditions which govern carup life near a large Eastern city would be difficult to find, and those of our troops who may go to Egypt should make it their first business to obtain a copy on arrival. We append a few extracts: — Coffee the Safest Drink. i ' As to drinks, tho- Cairo water supply is periccliy sate —if tha glass itself lias been wa-sned 111 clean water. And all boiled water is 6afe. Tea therefore is safe if without miiii, or with condensed milk or boiled milk; but coti'ee is.safer because it was always taken with boiled milk. i)'resh milk is always uusalo except possibly at the very best hotels, winch may have a special dairy. That ordinarily supplied may have been milked in any dirty lane. The milker J wili hold the vessel between his knees. If the animal is a goat or buifalo, its udders will be covered with dust—the milkers hands will be dirty; you will often see a chocolate coloured foam cohering a milker's hands and dripping into the pail. Bits of straw and sediment will bo found' in the milk. Besides all this, so septic is the air of the cities that milk quickly becomes infected, and must be thrown away the • first .sign, of clotting. The lever which used to make Malta dangerous exists in Egypt Mid is carried in milk.. These are the reasons why, the only safe rule is to drink no milk unless well boiled or condensed. Soft and Alcoholic Drinks. Soft drinks, if made by well known firms sucli as ochweppes, Spaiihis, Mactionalds, and served in clean resturants ahould not be dangerous. The difficulty . is to make certain that tliey.are not some imitation made with filthy water and sold in a bottle with tlie label of a respectable firm. The safest way is nover to touch them except at some of the best restaurants, which would not dream of.such deception. Cordials may be generally taken to be imitations of whatever drink they are sold for.
! Alcoholic 'drinks sold under the name of Cognac, Absinthe, and other ''aperitifs" are liable, except at good restauants, to be native imitations made from doubtful'raw spirit and coloured, They may coutain any percentage of alcohol and be practically pure poison; and in some cases- the colour is obtained' in ways too disgusting to .be described. Some inhabitants have no conscience whatever in this matter—their only object is to sell. Safe Rule—A Decent Restaurant. The best advice is to avoid either alcohol or soft drinks, unless at the best places in ( town Indeed the one safe rule is to go to,a good restaurant in the European quarter, and never dream of taking your meals in a native restaurant. The cafes in the European quarter which have 1 tables on the pavement outside are generally safe provided you stick jto drinks that you know and observe the above rules, as to salad and fruits. It is generally wiser not to talk to any native there —they may be kindly well-intentioned students, who would euter into conversation out of politeness; or they may bo well-dressed tricksters who would not stop at drugging a man; it is practically impossible for us to distinguish them with our slight acquaintance. European residents in Cairo say the only safe rule for newcomers is to be polite but never, familiar with any native.
There are several thoroughly good restaurants in Cairo where dinners may be had for 4s. or a grill for 2s. or tea for Bd. to 16. But of course the most moderate in the cafe which tho ladies of Cairo liave organised for soldiers — in the Ezbekieh gardens (pronounced Ezbekeer) in the middle of the European town, opposite the Opera House ind the Grand Continental Hotel. Everything at this safe is good, and the prices are the lowest possible. We owe a debt to th'e ladies of Cairo for the provision of this cafe. A Few Short Rules. The following rules of health are given by the Egyptian Government: — 1. Egypt is a healthy country,' and with the exercise of common sense and attention to the following hints sound health should be enjoyed hy all ranks. 2. Sun. —It is imperative that men should have a meal before early morning parade, and if out for any length of time they should take something in their haversacks, and have waterbottles filled. 3. Sun Glare. —Men troubled with the glare of the'sun should use smoke-col-oured glasses of a light tint. These can be obtained for a few pence. 4. Water. —Water taken directly from the taps in the town of Cairo and Alexandria and from those in camps unless otherwise specified, is fit for drinking without filtering or boiling. 5. Bathing.—Bathing in the Nile or in any of the canals is forbidden, the reason being that the disease known as Bilharzia is so contracted. The 'lisoase is very untractable and may lead to permanent inefficiency. 6. Milk.—Mediterranean Fever is a common disease in the country and is due to drinking fresh milk. Drink only tinned milk or have your fresh milk boiled. 7. Liquor. —The liquor obtainable in hotels and first-class restaurants is good, in the lower parts of the town it is frequently adulterated and even poisonous. It is to be remembered in 6ucli places that the labels of respectable firms are frequently placed on bottles containing adulterated liquor. 8. Clothing.—lieu should bo careful to put on their jackets immediately after exercise, Cliiljs nro apt to cause diarrhoea and this predisposes dysentery. . 9. Fruit.—Fruit is usually good and abundant; grapes, figs, etc., ahould bo well rinsed in water before eaten. Unwashed grapes and fruit is a common cause of dysentery. Over-ripe fruit should be avoided 10. Women. —Men must be carcful to avoid any attempts at familiarity with native women; because if they are re« ttax will set uta tsoubla*
and if they are not venereal disease will probably be contracted. • 11. Enteric Fever or Typhoid.—Enteric fever is practically unknown amongst the Army in Egypt, but very prevalent and fatal atnong visitors to i'SJ'pt, the reason being that the former are protected by inoculation, aiid the latter are not. It is imperative tliat all ranks below the age of 40, and who have not had enteric fever be inoculated. The Veil. —One word as to the veil. In Eastern countries women are sensitively modest or else the exact reverse. There are no gradations between. With Mahommedans in Egypt, except in the case of a very few who have accepted Western customs, tlie mode&t women are veiled; both they and their husbands are very sensitive, and tlie veil piotects them against being spoken to or in any way interfered with. The only safe rule is never to speak to a native woman at all. L Egyptian Money. The Egyptian piastre is worth 2jd., or the one-hundredth part of an Egyptian pound. An Egyptian is worth slightly more than an English pound (Egyptian 100 piastre; English 97} piastre). Five piastres make Is. o}d., and therefore the rough rule is to divide .piastres bky 5 in order to get evuivalent sum in shillings. Actually, however, the Egyptian is a fraction more valuable than appears by this method. A piastre is 10 millimes and half a piastre 5. millieraes. The figure 0 on J piastre is arabic for 5. The Egyptian system is thus a decimal system; one Egyptian pound mates 10 ten-piastre puce's (a. sort of florin), or 100 big piastres, or 1.000 milliemes. The_ commonest coins are the nickel J piastre (roughly Id.), the nickel piastre (2Jd.), the silver 2 piastre (5d.), silver 5 piastre (Is.), 10 piastre (25.) and 20 piastre (45.). English gold passes, but not silver. Tlie 50 piastre note (10s.) and tlie £.E.l and £.E. 5 notes are much used.
HINTS FOR THE TROOPS., Dominion, Volume 8, Issue 2437, 16 April 1915
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