Around the World in 80 Days
Day 47: 10 November
Down to breakfast, only to find it's being served on the eighth floor. As I climb back into the lift I'm horrified to see one of the uniformed attendants clear his throat vigorously and deposit a gob of spit, quite deliberately, in a rather attractive brass bowl which sits on a pedestal by the lift doors. Later I see someone else doing it and feel foolish that I didn't know such a beautiful object could be a spittoon.
The Peace Hotel is a curious mixture of dark and oppressive English Thirties suburban mixed in with some fine examples of Art Deco, and a spectacular Chinese-style banqueting room with dragons in bas-relief curling round the walls and ceiling. Nobody knows much about Sassoon, the man who built it, except that he was a Jew, possibly from Baghdad, who came to China and made a lot of money out of the opium trade.
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- Series: Around the World in 80 Days
- Day: 47
- Date: 10 November
- Country/sea: China
- Place: Shanghai
- Book page no: 160
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