Schlagwort-Archiv: shopping

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.


  • 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“.

Delhi, 18 February 1893

I had asked to visit an Indian prison. A wish that was granted most willingly by offering me the opportunity to visit a prison in the south of Delhi. We passed the Delhi gate, one of ten gates which are set in the 8,8 km long ring wall around the city. After a short ride through the field of ruins of old Delhi we arrived in front of the prison occupied by around 500 prisoners.

By a double lock gate which is comparable to a double wall we entered the interior and saw something like a formal city quarter of small ground floor buildings intended for housing the prisoners who are separated from each other so that no communication can take place among them while they are under precise supervision from certain central locations.

Generally it is the practice of keeping prisoners isolated for some time to get to know them, I might say, to study their character. In the individual cell the prisoner has to work, namely he has to fulfil a daily quota of grinding corn in a primitive way with two millstones and their hands.  Is he behaving well, he enters into a group cell and work. In the opposite case or if it is clear that the prisoner has a negative influence on his fellow prisoners, he will have to spend all his time in individual cells. Especially hard criminals and those who have escaped before are shackled with heavy iron bars on their feet and kept almost like wild beast in open iron cages on whose end is found a cell with an open hard bed. In one of those cells sat an old man who has broken out already thrice. He devised means to cut the thick iron bars — using wool threads and a mixture of oil, sand and glass splinters which he managed to procure. He rubbed a part of the iron bar for so long until he had worn it out and he could escape. Probably one of the greatest exercises in perseverance! Twice he was successful but the third time he has been caught. Another prisoner had built a key out of discarded lead within three months. But the artful tool has been discovered at the latest moment. An especially wild impression made two Afghans one of which was accused of murder. The other had been sentenced to 37 years of hard labor for a similar crime.

The individual cells contain a bed made out of clay with a stray mat and two covers. The rest of the equipment is a cup and the already mentioned millstone.

One part is reserved for boys among which one can see true rascals. Another part is for habitual criminals who have entered this holy halls repeatedly. A third part, finally, is for women among whom are a number of truly ugly and depraved ones.

The prisoners‘ dress is uniform: It consists of a covering cloth worn over a piece of linen wrapped around the middle of the body. To eat they receive from our point of view a very small ration  of two flat unleavened breads in the morning plus one eighth of a liter Dal (a type of bean) with butter and condiments, at noon a handfull of roasted wheat and in the evening green vegetables with two breads. And still the prisoners are well and look good.

According to the opinion of the prison director the only fault of the prison is treating the prisoners better than their life would be outside. Laments such as those made by the director can be heard also at home where comparisons are often made between the nice life in prison even for hard criminals compared to the life existence of our soldiers in their barracks. I can not really find fault that the humane treatment of hard criminals has gone too far and has lessened the impact of punishment.

I inspected all workshops where the prisoners execute tasks together with the simplest of tools. They produce cartonnage and earthenware, rugs and mats made out of reeds which grows near all rivers. I ordered a great number for the corridors of Konopiste. Their own clothing has to be produced by the prisoners themselves too.

After my return to the city, valuable time was lost in my misleading visiting the city museum of the institute which is in a desolate condition and stood next to Chandni Chowk street. It is difficult to present an overview of all the dirt, the overwhelming desolation an mixture of the motley mammals, birds, cloths, household items and other ethnographic objects. At least one could learn to see what a museum should not look like.

On revient toujours …  also once again paid a visit to Tellery to do some shopping, namely rugs.

Then we watched cock fights organized by natives in out hotel. As cruel this entertainment may be, it isn’t without attraction: with astonishing bravery and combativeness, even rage, the two brave roosters hit one another with beaks and spurs until one of them succumbed.

In the evening the train took us to Alwar, Northwest of Agra, Southwest of Delhi, which lies on the Rajputana-Malwa Railway including Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway that runs by the way of Ahmedabad to Bombay.


  • Location: Alwar, India
  • ANNO – on 18.02.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The newspapers are gearing up to Pope Leo XIII’s 50th anniversary of consecration as a bishop (and 15th anniversary as pope) on 19th February.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing a comedy „Verbot und Befehl“, while the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing Jules Massenet’s „Manon“.

Kandy to Colombo, 13 January 1893

At half past 7 o’clock in the morning, the Papal delegate for India, Monsignore Zaleski, who stays most of the year in Kandy, celebrated a mass in the small Catholic church attended by the whole Catholic community consisting mostly of mixed bloods of Europeans and Sinhalese. A large number of mostly dark-colored priests assisted the Montsignore while music and song in a not so harmonic way was contributed by the faithful. After the end of the mass I wanted to meet the delegate but unfortunately did find him there.

We then went on a glorious morning drive on Lawrence Drive, a road that leads along a number of hills with a beautiful view of Kandy, the large pond, the Buddha temple, the whole panorama of the city and the mountain peaks in the distance. Everything was still covered in a blueish morning mist: the city houses at my feet, the Kandy valley and the distant mountain ranges.

After I had browsed through the Reuter dispatches, eager for news about home, I took my leave from Sir Arthur und Lady Havelock in the governor’s pavilion. To remember the hours spent together with this lovely couple with a visible memento, we had a group photograph of us with the couple taken.

The return drive to Colombo was glorious, part of which I did in the locomotive to have an unrestricted view. I couldn’t get enough of the wonderful scenery of the whole journey.

The afternoon in Colombo was dedicated to shopping. We took the dinner, upon the invitation of our consular agent Schnell in his country house located outside the city. Mr and Mrs Schnell, the latter a young and pretty woman dressed in a patriotic black and yellow dress, gave me the honors and after the dinner, enchanted me with a performance of a devil dance which differed markedly from that seen in Kalawewa. It was, I might say, more civilized, less grotesque and notable especially by the dancer’s large wooden grimacing head masks out of which they very skilfully blew and spit fire. Music and song were of the same type as that of the jungle dance performed in Kalawewa. We were sitting under palm trees in a garden kiosk while the dancers moved on the open green.

The devil dance was followed by an act of a conjurer who performed many tricks. The way in which he demonstrated the growth of a mango tree was interesting. The conjurer laid out a cloth on the ground, lifted it after a bit of hocus-pocus and, well, there suddenly was inch-high small green plant. The conjurer repeatedly covered the plant with the cloth and every time he lifted it, the plant had grown. It grew larger and larger and became a rich bush with long beautiful leaves, a growing little tree, a blooming tree and finally there stood a full grown blooming mango tree with ripe fruits in front of us on the green. He also showed his skills as a snake charmer. Out of two baskets, to the sound of a shalm, emerged two cobra snakes. They beamed and displayed their hood with clearly visible marks that looked like glasses and starred and moved hissing towards their master which looked dangerous but was in reality harmless as the teeth of the snakes had been removed. Still, Mrs Schnell uttered a light scream when one of the beasts turned and advanced on the green toward our feet.

This garden party concluded our stay in Ceylon. We took leave of our very obliging hosts and returned hours later on board of SMS Elisabeth.


  • Location: Colombo, Ceylon
  • ANNO – on 13.01.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. In Paris, the Panama scandal is still raging in the streets, in the newspapers, in parliament as well as in the court room where the third day in court has started. A new 3,5 m long photographic panorama of Vienna’s city center has been completed and will soon be on public display. Out of Calcutta comes a telegram that informs about the planning of a governmental gala dinner for Franz Ferdinand, a reception of the Austro-Hungarian community, museum visits, parades, a native dance performance as well as a sightseeing trip to Darjeeling.
  • The Wiener Salonblatt Nr. 3 of 15 January already includes a notice about Franz Ferdinand’s stay in Ceylon and departure to Bombay.
Notice in the Wiener Salonblatt no. 3 about Franz Ferdinand's stay in Ceylon

Notice on page 8 in the Wiener Salonblatt no. 3 about Franz Ferdinand’s stay in Ceylon

  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Der Bibliothekar“, a comedy by Gustav von Moser while the k.u.k Hof-Operntheater performs Jules Massenet’s Werther.