Around the World in 80 Days
Day 2: 26 September
8.30. Jeff arrives carrying a tray of croissants, brioches, jams, hot, dark, intensely tasty coffee and the International Herald Tribune. More record-breaking from Ben Johnson in the Olympics. Pull back the curtain and there is Switzerland. The murky gloom of Northern Europe has been replaced by clear and cloudless skies, and the banlieues of Boulogne by neat meadows grazed by neat cows interspersed with neat factories. All this orderliness is contained within violently twisted cliffs of rock rising thousands of feet to left and right. As we slow through a small town people gaze at us, curiously but not censoriously. The conspicuous luxury of the Orient Express seems not so remarkable here in Switzerland. Perhaps it goes with numbered bank accounts and private nuclear shelters.
A little trouble shaving. There seems to be no hot water to fill my exquisite marble wash basin. Jeff is philosophical. 'Try the cold tap, sir.' Sure enough a steamy, near-boiling torrent pours out of it.
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