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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 25: 19 October

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysA copy of the Indian Express is in my room. The government is thinking of lowering the voting age to 18. A stay of execution has been granted on the two assassins of Mrs Gandhi and on the entertainments page I see there is a play in Bombay called No Sex Please, We're Hindustani. It's billed as 'The Ultimate Laugh riot'.

Spend an afternoon unwinding, and checking my onward plans. I hear that all is not well for the next connection in Madras. The ship I was relying on has been delayed to mid-November and the only alternative, so far, has no room. All the timetables have been disrupted by a dock-worker's strike in Bombay.

In the evening I walk along the Apollo Bunder, which extends along the waterfront from the Taj, enjoying the street life, the old-fashioned and ubiquitous Ambassador cars, the smells, the crumbling hotels on the front called 'Evelyn' and 'Shelley's' - the ever-present parody of Britain. It's better than being a parody of America, which is what Saudi Arabia was. There's a big, bright noisy party being held out on a pier. Folk dance inside which looks like an Indian morris dance. Much striking of sticks. Sends me to bed happy, on my first night in Asia.
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  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 25
  • Date: 19 October
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Bombay
  • Book page no: 88

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