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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 70: 3 December

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysI'm neck and neck with Fogg now, for the first time since I left. He arrived on the seventieth day at 'thirty-five minutes after nine at night' at Jersey City 'near the very pier of the Cunard line of steamers, otherwise called the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. The China, bound for Liverpool, had left thirty-five minutes before!'.

Fogg of course had not panicked, and taken himself off to the St Nicholas Hotel on Broadway to sleep on the problem.

At least he had the choice of a dozen other transatlantic passenger carriers, none of them in business nowadays. My eggs are all in one basket - a 53,000-ton container ship, hopefully loading now at Newark Docks en route for Felixstowe. I must get over there fast, but cannot, at the vital moment, find Passepartout. They'd been filming on the concourse, but were no longer to be seen.

Search for them unsuccessfully. New York, for all its virtues, is not a safe place to hang around. The man who stands still in New York is either buying or selling. For what other reason would you want to stand still? Eyes turn toward me, eyeing me, sizing me up suspiciously.

At last Passepartout appears from a side entrance looking ruffled and in the company of one of New York's finest. Demands to know what we're doing, who gave us permission and so on. Clem strides over to deal with it, but the whole episode loses an unsettling amount of time.

Fight gracelessly for a taxi which is driven by a Haitian.

'I shouldn't think you get many passengers asking for the container terminal?' I venture.

He says nothing.

I have chosen the only New York cabbie with nothing to say.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 70
  • Date: 3 December
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: New York - New York
  • Book page no: 234

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