Thursday. Entrance of the caravan from Mecca - entrance of the carpet [the fabric surrounding the Kaaba in Mecca, called the Kiswa, was traditionally made in Egypt, each year a new one was provided and the old one brought back to Cairo]. We get up early and go in the streets around Bab El-Foutouh to wait for the caravan. We see the heads of the women at their windows, below the awnings of the mashrabiyas, who veil themselves as soon as they realize we are looking at them.
The oriental military, europeanizing. On a camel a man seats, naked to the belt, and waddles along the music, dervishing. The men in the cavalry are superb of raggedness and ferocity - their garments not patched, dust, no stains; but nevertheless, however (relatively) disciplined the troop, this is still grotesque. Plagiarism of the Europeans - the poor officers in under-foot - and what shoes!