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New Europe

Day Seventy-two: Budapest

Michael Palin - New EuropeKatti is in her forties, small, with a dark red glint to her hair, and dressed in a black top and a skirt of white taffeta with odd sections of fishnet on her legs and red silk slingbacks on her feet.

Despite her halting English, there's a playfulness about her which makes us get on right from the start. The theme of her show is to be Ördögi Angyalok, Evil Angels and Angyuli Ördögok, Angelic Devils.

'Michael, I want you to be a little bit devil, a little bit angel.'

'So I'm kind of bi-moral. A little bit good, a little bit bad.'

She looks baffled.

'I'm bi-moral.'

Now she looks interested, possibly even a little shocked.

'Really?'

I decide that it's better not to pursue this one and we get on with the fitting.

She has in mind a close-fitting black leather jacket with a white appliqué design of men, women, snakes and general coiling and couplings.

'Would you like a skirt?'

'Erm... well... '

'Black lace skirt with white lining?'

'A sort of see-through kilt?'

Fortunately she laughs at this and the skirt is dropped, in a manner of speaking.

Measurements are taken and I'm required to come in tomorrow for a second fitting. The big night will be in two days' time.

I like Katti. She's bright and inventive but her years in theatre have stopped her from taking herself too seriously. And I like it that she's always coming up with new ideas. I'm heading for the door when I hear her little voice behind me.

'D'you want wings?'
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: New Europe
  • Chapter: Day Seventy-two: Budapest
  • Country/sea: Hungary
  • Place: Budapest
  • Book page no: 174

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