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Pole to Pole

Day 49: Rhodes to Limassol

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleWe sit at long tables and tuck into lamb kleftiko, moussaka and To Rezi, a thick but tasty oatmeal mix which takes two days to cook and almost as long to eat. There is music and dancing, including one dance in which the marital bed is blessed, and four men in suits have to perform a particularly tricky soft-shoe shuffle while holding a mattress on their shoulders. There is still no respite for Polycarpus and Ariadne. They are dragged up on stage to cut the cake, and all goes well until the best man opens the champagne over-zealously and a stream of foam deluges the bridal pair. As champagne drips down his forehead I see Polycarpus's smile wither for a split second before he's back to being man of the moment and leading the hastily mopped-up Ariadne into a slow, rather inelegant dance which could be called the Lumbago. The reason it is so slow is that during the dance relatives and friends come up and pin money to the couple. Polycarpus is no Fred Astaire at the best of times and having to trip the light fantastic festooned with currency doesn't help. By midnight they must both be carrying close on a thousand pounds each, and I now understand those who say that these weddings, besides being good for public relations, can be run at a considerable profit. Not that that can be much consolation for Polycarpus, who is now quite seriously wilting, and the night still young. But his wife is beautiful and 3000 guests are having a great time and there's a near full moon in the cloudless sky.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 49
  • Country/sea: Cyprus
  • Place: Limassol
  • Book page no: 109

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