MODE OF TRAVELLING.
II. With Dragoman, but without Tents. Gentlemen who
can dispense with the luxury of a European bed can also dispense
with a tent. It will be the duty of the dragoman to provide and pay
for the lodgings for the night and the provisions (see above, I).
Quarters in a hotel or a monastery in places where these exist
should be distinctly stipulated for. Travellers who adopt this plan
have, of course, less liberty as regards halting-places, as decent ac¬
commodation is not to be found everywhere. (For prices, see p. xxviii.)
III. With Mukari, but without Dragoman. Travellers who
know something of the language and customs of the country may
entirely dispense with the attendance of a dragoman, and rely on
the services of the mukari. But care should be taken that the mukari
engages a sufficient number of attendants for the animals (for the
prices of horses, see p. xxviii).
In case of a prolonged stay, it is advisable to hire a man as valet
(30-60 fr. a month) and also an attendant for the horse. As the Syrians
generally display a marvellous aptitude for learning foreign languages, it will
always be an easy matter for the traveller to find a native acquainted
with French , English, or Italian , and competent to teach him a few of
the most necessary Arabic words for the journey.
Those who travel on this plan will have to find their own provis¬
ions. As remarked on p. xxii, a supply of preserves and sufficient
wine, brandy, and tea should be taken. For tours of any length
it will be best to have a written contract drawn up. — The night's
lodging will be found (as above, II) in the house of a farmer or
peasant. The mukari or servant should be directed to pay ready
money for all he buys, and about 3/4-l mejidi a head will then pay
for the lodging. Sweets should also be taken for the children of the
country-people. Luggage and saddles, as well as weapons, should
always be safely housed for the night.
To what extent tents may be dispensed with on longer journeys
off the beaten track is a matter which the individual traveller must
settle for himself, according to his inclination and aptitude.
On all the more frequented tracks are caravanserais or khans,
and at the larger villages are houses or rooms where travellers are
accommodated, but, unfortunately, such places always swarm with
vermin. The cottages of the peasantry and their floors are generally
of mud , which harbours innumerable fleas. When such a room is
taken possession of, the straw-matting which covers the floor should
be taken up and thoroughly beaten, and the whole place carefully
swept and sprinkled with water. Every article of clothing belonging
to the inmates should also be Temoved to another room. Bugs are
less common, except wheTe the houses are chiefly built of wood.
The tents of the Beduins are free from these insects, but, on the
other hand, are terribly infested with lice. 'Persian' insect-powder
is sold, at a somewhat exorbitant price, at Jerusalem and Beirut
only. Scorpions abound in Syria, but they seldom sting unless
irritated. They are often found under loose stones. If the bed is