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Around the World in 80 Days

Day 56: 19 November

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysThere is much laughter that I should be making such a meal of going round the world in eighty days when they do it in sixty-three. Six times a year.

Then the party begins. Such oriental specialities as Pass the Parcel and Charades are entered into with an enthusiasm that would delight the United Nations. The games are well organised and forfeits are very popular. The captain has to mime someone without money trying to grab an illegal ride on the Hong Kong subway, Simon has to sing 'Yesterday', Nigel has to give George Bush's first Presidential address and Roger to imitate his favourite animal. He gets down on all fours then lifts his leg on the captain's shoe, to great applause.<--E:Simon Maggs-->

Charades are more problematical as none of our team know any of the films the crew have given us. They're the video favourites and usually involve killing and retribution, and despite our energetic efforts with The Evil That Men Do, Street Killer and He Knows You're Alone the result is only bafflement.

We're more successful in the Tug of War. This takes place in the passageway outside, and as it's a hot sticky night, both deck doors are open, so there's always the danger that the team that loses its balance might disappear for ever into the North Pacific. But the contest is close and myself and Passepartout hold the young, fit, though well-Tigered, Garnet crew to a draw over three contests.

Pouring sweat, retire triumphantly to bed. Twelve thousand miles away in London my second son will be waking up on his eighteenth birthday. The fact that I'm missing this and an important university entrance exam he has to take in two days makes me momentarily regret being so far away and so helpless.
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  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 56
  • Date: 19 November
  • Country/sea: Pacific Ocean
  • Place: Pacific Ocean
  • Book page no: 187

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