Donkeys- CAIRO. 3. Route. 233
proper fare. On Sundays and holidays the fares rise considerably, and
it is then often difficult to get a good vehicle. The sdis, or boy who runs
before the carriage to clear the way in the crowded streets, is a very
useful attendant (p. 247). His services are included in the carriage-fare,
but he expects a small additional fee (2 piastres).
Omnibuses ply from the Place delaBourse(Pl.C,4)to the railway stations
and to the ministries, the Khan el-Khalili, and the Shubra-Allee. Fares,
1st class 1 piastre tariff, 2nd class 20 paras. 'Correspondences' at half fares.
Donkeys (comp. p. 11) afford the best and most rapid mode of loco¬
motion in the narrow and crowded streets of Cairo, and they are to be
met with, day and night, in every part of the town. The attendants often
thrust them unceremoniously on the traveller's notice by placing them
directly in his path. These animals are to be found in great numbers at
all the most frequented points, and if one is wanted in the middle of the
night the word 'hammar' (p. 11) shouted out immediately attracts a large
assortment of them. The donkey-boys of Cairo have all the savoir vivre
of denizens of a large city, and they often possess a considerable fund of
humour, which they show most readily when well paid. They delight
in excursions into the country (to Sakkara, for instance), which afford
them a 'fantasiya', or special treat; and the European will be astonished
at the smallness of their requirements and those of their beasts. The
donkeys are particularly serviceable in the narrow streets of the Arabian
quarter, which afford shade and coolness, but are not accessible to car¬
riages. For a short ride in the town the usual charge is 1-2 piastres
tariff (25-50 c); for 1 hr., 1 fr.; for a forenoon in the town, 2>/2 fr. ; for
excursions 4-6 fr. per day (ladies' saddle 1 fr. extra), and a bakshish of
1h~3li fr- to the boy, unless he has been uncivil. When a donkey is hir¬
ed to carry baggage, its attendant should be required to follow the same
route as the travellers themselves, and always to remain in sight. Per¬
sons making a prolonged stay, as soon as they have found a good don¬
key with proper gear and a satisfactory attendant, had better secure its
future services by the payment of an extra bakshish. Care should be
taken to choose a donkey with sound fore-legs.
Commissionnaires (comp. p. 13). The traveller who is pressed for
time, and wishes to see as much as possible, cannot well dispense
with a cicerone. The best guides (5-8 fr. per day) are to be had at the
hotels. They often try to induce their employers to engage them for
distant tours, such as that to Mt. Sinai, or the voyage up the Nile, but
for such expeditions they are totally unfitted. As a rule, purchases should
never be made in their presence. If, however, the traveller knows a few
words of Arabic, and is not in a hurry, he will soon find his way through
every part of the city and the environs with the aid of his donkey-boy alone.
Dragomans (comp. pp. 13, 205). Information as to trustworthy dra¬
gomans may be obtained at the traveller's consulate, at the hotels, at
Kauffmann's, the bookseller, or at Zigada's, in the Muski. The following
may be recommended: Michael Shaija, a Syrian Christian; Muhammed
Post Office (PI. 87; C, 4), on the E. side of the Ezbekiyeh, open
daily from 7 a. m. to 6 p. m., and also for a short time after the arrival
of the last mail train, or for a longer time when the British, Indian, and
other important mails come in. Letter-boxes at most of the hotels, at
Berti's (the confectioner), at the railway-stations, and in various other places.
Telegraph Offices. Egyptian (PI. 97a; C, 5), in the Quartier Isma'iliya;
British (PI. 97; C, 5), next door to the New Hotel. The Egyptian tele¬
graph only can be used for messages within Egypt. Telegrams for Upper
Egypt must be in Arabic. Comp. p. 28.
Theatres. Italian Opera (PI. 75; C, 4). The winter season depends,
however, entirely on the subsidy of the Khedive, which is not always
granted. — Summer Theatre in the Ezbekiyeh Garden, see p. 258.
Physicians. Dr. Grant-Bey, English; Dr. Hess; Dr. Wildl; Dr. Becker;
Dr. Comanos, a Greek, who has studied in Germany. — Oculists : Dr. Tachait,
Dr. Brugsch. — Dentists : Mr. Broadway and Mr. Waller, both English. —
The addresses may be obtained at the hotels.