bumboats

Aldinga
28th May 2006, 02:24
Menu’s, now I was a keen collector of menu’s when I was on the “Dunnottar Castle” 1955 I used to gather hundreds of them “First Class” or “Tourist”. I would carefully remove the cellophane off a tin of 50 “Player’s” cigs that we used to get then, remove the cigs, and replace them with the menu cards replace the cellophane and seal.
The “Dunnottar’ was one of the intermediate ships that sailed out of KG5 clockwise round Africa, via Gib, M****ille, Genoa, Suez, and then Aden.

Aden and the “bumboats” where cigs where a bargaining currency. The bumboats would row out to the ship and tie up alongside, contact was by means of a basket passed up and down tied to a rope. You would bargain with the Arab vendor for the product that you fancied when a price was agreed you then send down your currency in the basket. In this case the tins of cigs 20 of them equivalent to 1000 cigs.

Now I am not sure what aroused his suspicion, it may have been because I had agreed too quickly to his price. Upon the basket reaching the floating bazaar he took one of the tins out of it and shook it vigorously close to his ear. He then waved it in my direction and asked me did I mind if he opened it, of course I said I didn’t and I then promptly disappeared below.

Now I was told that the language from the vendor was enough to blister the lilac painted hull of the Dunnottar” and that there where menu cards floating all over the bay.
I got what I deserved, “nothing” and a 1000 loose cigs rolling around in my locker.
I should have kept those beautiful works of art that where “Union Castle Line” menu’s,
there is I am sure a ready market for then today.

This is a photo I have of their Port Said cousins who’s products always seemed to be far more inferior to that of Aden. Which one is “Jock McGregor” I am not sure, but there again they all claim to be of the “McGregor Clan” and have the accents to prove it.

Ron

Aldinga
28th May 2006, 02:33
Sorry! Post Said cousins.

Keltic Star
28th May 2006, 05:45
You'd have to get up pretty early to outwit a bumboat man. They have seen it all. Count your fingers after shaking hands with one.