Learning to use and to cook native vegetables. My boast always: “I shall never have to cook.” Studied as many vocational subjects as possible in college—journalism, typing, shorthand, graduate work in English literature (to teach), graduate work and Ph.D. in sociology (to do social work, research, or teach), but never to have to cook. Always dreaded handling food, but now cooking for three, two babies and myself.
Oh for the sound of an American voice! Station after station broadcasting in Chinese, Japanese, German, French, Philippine dialects, Spanish, Siamese, Dutch, and rarely a far-off “You have been listening to London. London calling. London calling.” For hours at a time there is no English (American or British) to be heard on the radio, and some of the Chinese and Japanese one-string musical instruments, and religious wails accompanying them, are frightening. It must be wonderful to to turn on a radio and hear only one’s own language on all nearby stations. The rarest heard and most difficult language to get here is English.
Letter from Jim today, dated December 23. Only a note brought to this island by Dr. Hallaner, who returned from Manila by devious route from island to island. Jim wrote he would call me Christmas Eve, but of course the call did not come through as Manila had heaviest bombing of all on morning of 24th and telephone and telegraph
lines from city closed for all except military communications. Jim has tried to send money by telegraph but said unable to do so. Money getting scarce. Due to hoarding, there is little money in circulation, the banks trying to call cash back. Special bank notes being printed for this island from Hawaiian-Philippine letterheads due to unusual watermark on paper which cannot be duplicated here now. Haw.-Phil. paper, good brand, is imported.
Re. money: rumors are circulating that Japanese soldiers arrived in Manila with counterfeit Philippine money in pockets. Were so sure of occupation, soldiers were given counterfeit money to use as incentive to urge them on. These soldiers more successful than Hitler’s, who took to Russian fronts with them medals marked for distinction in aiding in the capture of Moscow. These medals later became Russian booty.