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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 52: 15 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThe atmosphere is very jolly and everyone is encouraged and applauded, however dire their presentation. Whilst I gulp a beer for courage, David Powers sings, in Japanese, a couple of truly heart-rending ballads which bring the house down. A tableful of nattily dressed young Japanese launch into a chant of 'T'atch-er! T'atch-er!' Not trusting my voice to linger over anything sentimental I choose from the catalogue 'You Are My Sunshine', which I've been unable to banish from my mind since hearing the Shanghai jazz band playing it. The audience is supportive, the video shows streamlined images of Muscle Beach in Los Angeles, my next destination, a bouncy Japanese girl joins me in the choruses and at the end there are shouts of 'Bee-Bee-Cee! Bee-Bee-Cee!' which will, I'm sure, bring tears to the eyes of the taxpayer.

Back at the hotel Cleese tells me on the phone from London that Japan has been the only country in the world to show no interest in A Fish Called Wanda. Suggest A Squid Called Wanda might go better.

To bed in a blaze of glory with a glass of 'Super Nikka' Japanese Scotch, which is almost as bad as my singing.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 52
  • Date: 15 November
  • Country/sea: Japan
  • Place: Tokyo
  • Book page no: 180

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