Around the World in 80 Days
Day 11: 5 October
Apparently one is not advised to wear shorts. The sight of my knees would be frowned upon. I shall just have to get hot, secure in the knowledge that there is only cold water in the shower. And no towels.
There are four Arab women and a dozen men in the first-class lounge this morning. A video of expensive cars, prominently displaying 'Rothman's' signs, on some glamorous rally, plays in the corner. A group of children are chasing each other around the tables. The Arabs love children and when I show an interest in them there is a smile of contact from the parents. But that's about as far as it goes. Yesterday I had met some people on deck who were quite chatty. This morning with the camera about it is very different, and I sense a chill of hostility. A slim, intense young man with a beard and a brown third-world suit reads his Koran and very obviously avoids us. His attitude seems to affect a lot of the others.
The deck passengers all wear traditional clothes - tarbooshes or takaias (the white skull caps), jellabas and sandals and have no interest in the small duty-free shop below with its VHS cassettes, lingerie, Lacoste shirts and bottles of 'Poison' eau de toilette.
Choose another day from Around the World in 80 Days