Singapore, 8 April 1893

First thing in the morning, I examined closely a collection of ethnographic objects from New Guinea, Sumatra, Nias and Borneo that a former captain of the merchant fleet had assembled. After prolonged negotiations I bought the whole collection. It contains interesting objects of great ethnographic value, especially primitive weapons built without iron or other metals. Also jewellery, daggers and knives made out of human bone, a series of carved ancestral portraits that serve on Nias to mark holy places, as well as countless fetishes, domestic, fishing and hunting tools etc.

While Wurmbrand and Clam arranged the packaging of the objects, I did some more shopping driving in a rickshaw from shop to shop. I also added two very lovely monkeys and some parrots to the menagerie on board.

Doing business in the hot zone may drive a European with even a very calm temper to a mild despair. The inescapable endless negotiating and bargaining causes a horrible waste of time. Buying a hat or a pair of shoes will thus become an earnest undertaking that can not be completed in less than two hours. My purchasing used up the entire morning, namely as I could not rely on the participation of the consul general who had not been informed about it and I finally asked the Lloyd’s agent for help.

Returned on board at noon, I sent out some boats to embark the ethnographic collection in time on board. The rest of the day was spent in saying good-bye and preparations for the journey to Java and the expedition there.

Links

  • Location: Singapore
  • ANNO – on 08.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Wiener Salonblatt of 9 April notes the arrival of Franz Ferdinand in Singapore.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Fromont junior und Risler senior“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Die Jüdin“.

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