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Errol Leaves India for Africa — May 28, 1933

29 May

After a side-splitting incident with a rickshaw boy on the island of Ceylon, Errol left with Erben for the mainland French Colony of Pondicherry. From Pondicherry they traveled an intolerably slow and hot five days on a train “jammed” with “Untouchables”, up the east coast of India to Calcutta, where they witnessed a ~ “dizzying spectacle of temples, beggary, dung in the street, wispy Indian girls in their white wrappings, and whorehouses.” Leaving Calcutta for Africa on the French ship La Stella Errol brawled with a spitting-mad “huge Black Sengalese soldier who bunked above him in steerage. Erben had a good laugh at how decisively Errol lost that dispute.

Finally, on May 28, 1933, Errol left India on the French paquebot Compiegne, through the Gulf of Mannar, then through Arabian Sea to Djibouti, in what was then the French colony of Somaliland.

As depicted below, this route was part of an ancient maritime portion of the old “Silk Road” between China and Europe. Sounds sensible to call it the “Silk Seaway”.

— Gentleman Tim

 

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