5 Jan. 1942

This morning, to market, on the other side of the river. Fish, pork, few vegetables, no rice. No Japanese soldiers.
Calm day. The evenings are exquisite, cool. Around five o’clock everything’s bathed in a soft light. From the road, our little bungalow with its thatched roof, the old walls which enclose it, and the greenery surrounding it on all sides, looks like some old, exquisite provincial house. The church and its pointed tower add to the illusion and one could imagine oneself in Europe rather than in the tropics.

The food question will become very worrying, especially for the children who will be without milk. My hostesses are particularly anxious because they haven’t made adequate provision.

We learn over the telephone that the British and Americans are being taken by the Nippon authorities to “register” and this formality could take several days. A new worry. What to do with the children? Ought we to prepare a suitcase filled with provisions, and bedding including mosquito nets? I’ll try to find out about this in town tomorrow.

Tonight we listened to Radio Saigon, conscientiously broadcasting communiqués from both sides. The Anglo-Saxon position in the Pacific isn’t brilliant, and the British are retreating every day in Malaya. As we sit around the table lamp, melancholy thoughts about the passing of time, the duration of the war, and the disappearance of the American fleet. Where has it gone?

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