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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 4: 28 September

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysHe'd wanted to be an actor at one time, and remembers being dressed down for chewing a piece of gum during a Shakespearian death scene. Then he wanted to be a film director. He's seen Battleship Potemkin seven times. He reaches for a piece of paper and the microphone, and with a bleak smile of apology returns to the job he ended up with. Adjusting an incongruous pair of half-moon spectacles he sets to the
laborious business of announcing, in five languages, that the clocks will go forward an hour tonight.

A handful of passengers are sitting in the main lounge watching Popeye dubbed in Italian. Ron is reading Great Air Disasters and a small elderly Scotsman is protesting at the bar: 'That's the smallest Coca Cola I've ever seen!'. His wife nods in agreement. The barman shrugs and examines something his little finger has just fetched out of his ear.

Up on deck there is sunshine and an extended Egyptian family returning from a holiday in Nice. The womenfolk remain covered despite the heat, but the children chase one another round the empty sun-deck. Their father, Mahmout, grins throughout the voyage, like the cat that's eaten the cream. Maybe he's just done a pipeline deal with my friends from the Orient Express.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 4
  • Date: 28 September
  • Country/sea: Mediterranean Sea
  • Place: Adriatic Sea
  • Book page no: 28

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  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Day 51 
  • Pole to Pole

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