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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 25: 19 October

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysSo the time comes to say goodbye to the people in whose hands we have entrusted our lives for the last week. It's been a unique relationship, for I can't imagine any other circumstances in which we would have become so close so quickly to people like this, and of course it's hard to come to terms with the fact that it must end so peremptorily. But I clutch a batch of addresses and Kasim clutches me and I climb down the rope ladder to waves and smiles and 'Goodbye Mi-kels!' Then my launch speeds me to the quayside and I know I shall never see them again and I shall miss them.

Into Indian customs 'F' Division hut. Seeing men in unpatched shirts is quite a shock. Their uniforms are clean and crisply pressed which is something of a contrast to the general condition of the hut, which looks like somewhere commandeered behind the lines in wartime - dusty with cracked walls and a sackcloth ceiling. There is no door, but a curtain. The officers are very charming. Then outside to meet the owners of the dhow. There are two of them, sharply dressed in the manner of international hairdressers - cuban heels, expensive shoes, Afro haircuts. They stand holding hands on the quayside and seem to have little to say to us.

Then back into a small launch to take me to the Gate of India.
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  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 25
  • Date: 19 October
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Bombay
  • Book page no: 85

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