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Pole to Pole

Day 40: Odessa to Istanbul

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleRoger has decided that the toilet facilities are so bad that we should film them. The purser, a trim, hairless man called Felix, walks past as we are emerging with all our lights and equipment and gives us a very odd look. Unfortunately we have to re-shoot. Once again we bump into Felix on the way out. This time he looks positively alarmed, but by the time we go down to dinner the lavatories have been thoroughly cleaned.

Felix is quite a character. Crisply dressed in white shirt and trousers, he not only announces dinner, but physically assists potential diners towards the restaurant. The longer you dally the more urgent are his attentions. The last arrivals are practically frog-marched to their table. I notice on the wall of the dining-room the only photo of Gorbachev I have seen publicly displayed. Is it just that he's unpopular or did he specifically discourage any personality cult? We all notice that his birthmark has been masked out.

End the day on deck with a Scotch and water and a sky full of stars, unobscured by city lights.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 40
  • Country/sea: Black Sea
  • Place: Black Sea
  • Book page no: 90

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