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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 26: 20 October

Bombay, India 
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A street barber attends to my designer stubble.
Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysI venture into the streets of Bombay in search of someone to remove eight days' growth of beard. If you look around with only reasonable diligence you can find someone on the street to do anything for you. I end up opposite the grand Gothic pile of Victoria Terminal - one of the most gushingly elaborate station exteriors in the world. Sandwiched in between a professional letter writer and a man who organises mongoose and snake fights, I find a barber who shaves me then and there on the grubby pavement with a cut-throat razor. Not something I shall tell my mother about, especially as I'm convinced from the way his fingers rather than his eyes seek out my face that he is blind. By the time he's finished shaving me, a crowd has gathered that would not disgrace a third division football club. The barber completes the shave by rubbing my face with a smooth piece of alum, a crystal-like stone which is used as an antiseptic.
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  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 26
  • Date: 20 October
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Bombay
  • Book page no: 91

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