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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 53: 16 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysNot a smile is cracked throughout his explanation. Instead frowns deepen, but eventually a solution is reached: the buck will be passed. Someone with more authority is to be summonsed. How long will that be? The waitress doesn't understand. I point to my watch and try to indicate that I'm expected on the Pacific in a couple of hours. She goes away. Time passes. There's a distinct chance that I shall have to choose between getting a Caffe Bongo menu or getting round the world in eighty days. Order another 4 coffee. Am about to grab the menu and make a break for it when a smart lady appears and after I give another long and time-consuming explanation, I'm met with the same bewildered response.

'Look, a British architect designed this and so surely you realise the British occasionally do very silly things . . . '

'You are architect!' Her eyes lit up.

'Well, not . . . er as such, but I like architecture . . . '

'Ah . . . yes? . . . architect . . . good!'

From then on it's plain sailing and I emerge 8 lighter, but with a Caffe Bongo menu and a Caffe Bongo cup and saucer.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 53
  • Date: 16 November
  • Country/sea: Japan
  • Place: Tokyo
  • Book page no: 182

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