[Editor’s note: In dating the letter Stubbs wrote “4/4/45” but this was most likely an error as both content and postmark place it in May. Transcription provided by collection donor.]
Another place that I have been to a lot around here is the market. It is quite extensive covering a whole block partly in the open air partly under cover. All manner of goods are made or sold here, and in some corners the smell nearly knocks you off your feet. This is probably the meat and fish section but I didn’t approach closely for verification. There was a very wide selection of leather sandals and I got a pair for 7/6. These seemed to be price controlled because for this particular type you could not beat any of the sellers down to a lower price although they all started higher. It didn’t seem to matter in what part of the market you did your bartering. There were also hundreds of handbags—some good ones in leopard skin and other nice looking crocodile jobs. These latter were made from baby crocs and had the head which is about six inches long on the flap. I may buy one tomorrow. This morning I was bartering for a leather hold all suitable for the sort of trip I am on now. They should cost a quid but this was quite a good one and he wanted three pound ten. This afternoon the same man had just got in some new suitcases, really good, solid leather box like construction for which the price was again £3-10. Consequently I have got the price of the hold all down to £2-5, but am still not going to buy.
Someone has made a fortune in sewing machines out here. There must be 50 humming away in the market alone and every little tailor shop has a few.
As there is no stone or clay around the native houses have a wooden framework but the rest of them is split cane. It looks like bamboo. They all have fences around of cane and even the windows in our billets are the same. Not much to look thru but a bit of air penetrates.
The station has a good thing in its cinema. It is an open air place and comparatively cool. Our own has open sides but nevertheless becomes almost unbearably hot.
The mess is built right on the beach. It looks a good bathing beach but no one gord in here. Still the pounding surf has a cool refreshing sound in the mess.
Food is reputed to be not as good here but I have had eggs for breakfast the last two days. The only ones I have had at base have been those I have bought from my ‘boy’ and 50% of these are bad.
My skin is beginning to take on the yellow tinge which the malaria pills cause. I hope this colour is not to persistent upon returning to civilization.
I bought some Campbell tennis balls yesterday. Synthetic rubber but they look good.
Can you buy materials nowadays like chiffon and crepe de chine? There is lots of it here. Made in England where you can’t buy it.
Hope my mail has caught up to me by the time I return to my station.
With love from