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Himalaya

Day 3: South to Darra Adam Khel

Michael Palin - HimalayaEverything in Darra is faintly bizarre, so I'm not entirely surprised when, out of the corner of my eye, I spot an elderly man with a long white beard apparently climbing into a litter bin. Once inside he bobs down out of sight, and the crew think I've made the whole thing up until his face reappears over the top of the bin and, rearranging his robe, he steps out and proceeds on his way.

The grey, serrated steel tub that would in Britain be either a bin or a council flower bed turns out to be one of the smallest public lavatories I've ever seen. Barely three feet high, it sits astride a narrow concrete culvert along which water flows, though not, I notice, today.

A young man approaches and asks me where I'm from. Yesterday in Peshawar he would have been moved on pretty quickly, but today my police escort is nowhere to be seen. I later learn they're down the main street having their photo taken by Basil.

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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 3: South to Darra Adam Khel
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Darra Adam Khel
  • Book page no: 19

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