Day before yesterday still unbearably hot, yesterday cooler but night very stuffy. Very hot today at midday, in the afternoon a violent dust-storm, much thunder & then fairly heavy rain for about an hour. Fearful mud in the bazaar in consequence. Air much fresher after the rain.
Primitive drill used by Arabs – not certain whether merely drill for wood or used for stone & earthenware – constructed as follows. The drill is attached to an upright which passes through a heavy round stone of 5-10 lb. Above this is a cross-piece which fits round the upright but is movable. From the ends of the cross-piece strings go to the top of the upright. These are twisted round the upright & the cross-piece worked up & down, causing the upright & therefore the drill to rotate. The stone serves merely as a weight.
Arab drug kiff,¹ said to have some kind of intoxicating effect, smoked in long bamboo pipes with earthenware head about the size of a cigarette holder. The drug resembles chopped grass. Unpleasant taste & – so far as I am concerned – no effect. Sale said to be illegal, though it can be acquired everywhere for 1 Fr. For about a tablespoonful.
The one smell one rarely encounters here is garlic, which apparently the Arabs do not much use. Almost a majority of the ripe olives now on sale are purple. Possibly these are the ones black olives are made from. Dates getting very ripe. They seem to be a rather dry & inferior kind.
¹ Kiff (or kef, keef, kif ) in Indian hemp, marijuana, marihuana, cannabis sativa (or indica), from Arabic ‘kaif,’ meaning enjoyment, well-being, state of dreamy intoxication. Peter Davison
*You can listen to Orwell’s son, Richard Blair, read part of this entry here.