…It is rather refreshing to read about the snow you have had, a little of that would be a welcome change out here, while, as you say. We have not any use for fires at present. We have had two thunder showers only since we arrived here, and I understand the next lot is due about June, so we have rather a dry time in front of us. The air here is very dry, otherwise I suppose we should not stand the heat so well. I do not know whether we are going to the Front, or remain here to garrison this country, probably the latter. Naturally being West Kents we are all anxious to be something; having read of the fine show our Regulars made at the Front.
… This is a very nice station, plenty of vegetation, which is rather nice, as some stations are very barren. Plenty of rice grows round about here, and a small quantity of tea, but it is of the inferior kind. There are also a few sugar plantations, though it is mostly used locally, and not exported. There is also an orange and banana plantation a few miles from here, and I have on several occasions bought the fruit as it was being gathered from the trees. The oranges are large, with very thick skins, and of a tangerine flavour. The bananas are about the size of the Canary fruit, though not so nice in flavour. I have heard a lot about the mango, but it is not yet time for those, so I cannot describe them. Vegetables are very plentiful about here: such as tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage are always in season. The gardens being irrigated by having trenches dug across them, and flooded by water drawn from wells.
Our barracks extend to within a quarter of a mile of the jungle, and ours is the bungalow nearest the jungle. We often have jackals and hyenas howling around here at night, and there are plenty of hill foxes about: they are rather larger than the English fox, and a slate grey in colour, with very fine tails. I have also seen a couple of herds of monkeys, some of them very large, and not at all nervous, in fact, several sat on the road as we cycled by, and did not attempt to move. I have not seen many snakes yet, only one or two small ones, but I understand they are more in evidence in the hot season. Still, the mosquitoes make up for the absence of other pests, we are overdone with them, in fact. We have to be very careful about fixing our nets at night, else we wake up in the morning and find our faces and arms smothered with bumps and bites.
We do not get a great amount of war news here, though most of us get a weekly paper from home, myself included, but as it takes about a month to get here it is rather late news when we get it. Still I am glad that we are holding our own, and am anxiously waiting for next month, as it will be known whether we are going out or not. I hope we are. I think the way in which the Germans damaged our helpless seaside towns has about put the finishing touch to the whole world’s opinion of them, and I for one hope to see our own country-men encouraged a great deal more after this war is all over.