Mon. Mar. 2/42

Left early in the morning to meet a man at the Meralco office by 8 o’clock. As we are still using daylight saving time (request of the Japs), that means that I left the house at 6:30. Waited nearly an hour for my man. People in this country are seldom on time. I transferred the meter that was in the house where Cecil and I had lived on Rubi Street from my name to his. In that way my five-peso deposit was returned to me. I might add that it was the five pesos that I was after, not the transfer. Five pesos are a fortune under these circumstances. The Japanese sentry across the street from where I waited for my man watched me rather suspiciously as I guess he could tell I was an American. I went on down town after finishing at the Meralco and in getting on a street car, I went by the sentry on purpose and bowed to him very respectfully as everyone is obliged to do when passing a sentry of guard. He returned my bow. I went to Plaza Lawton and then walked across Intramuros on Anda Street. I was able to see all the rubbish left after the fire and bombing at the beginning of the war. In some places the rubble was six feet deep in the ruined buildings with nothing but the stone walls standing. Women and children were scratching around in the ashes and stones picking out the little pieces of burnt wood, like charcoal, to cook their rice. Fuel is at a premium now. Sitting on a narrow sidewalk with his feet sticking out so that I nearly fell over them was an old, old man, holding out his hat for pennies. Someone had given him a mouthful of something to eat, and he was working this around in his toothless jaws and at the same time giving out a loud moan every time he expelled his breath. I do not know whether he was really in pain or had got in that habit of attracting attention. He was dressed in what looked like pajamas, but they had not seen soap and water for many days.

I continued to my destination, delivered my reports, asked a few questions, got extra blanks and walked back to Plaza Lawton and on to the City Hall. There I made some inquiries concerning finances of foreigners from the Mayor’s office, then walked a half dozen or so blocks back towards home so that my fare would be only three centavos, instead of five. Dinner was ready soon after I got home and needless to say I was hot, hungry and tired. The streetcars have to handle all the traffic now, as there are no buses. We have to walk about a mile to the end of the line at Vito Cruz. I made two little cakes again this afternoon. This morning when I saw the women picking up little pieces of burnt wood, I thought of the widow in the Old Testament who was picking up sticks to cook her last handful of meal. And when I was baking the little cakes this p.m., I thought of her again. Mrs. Lerit stopped in on her way home from Paco. She had a long walk, too. Had bought some articles to take to the province to sell. I gave her one of the little cakes to take home. This evening Leo is tinkering with an old clock he found under the house. Cecil is out getting a bit of fresh air, Willie is reading Shakespeare and Mr. and Mrs. Hernandez are getting ready for bed. They usually retire early, as they do not read as much as we do.

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