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Day 4: Tangier to Chefchaouen

Michael Palin - SaharaFor Jonathan, Tangier remains a tolerant place, where you can be what you want to be. He likes the sea and the beaches and the freshness of the food, the fact that it can get cold enough for open fires and, of course, the prices.

'You can buy a villa here for less than the cost of a London basement.'

We finish our coffees. The noise levels in the square are rising. Laughter, argument, the booming of a television set from the darkened interior of a café opposite. It's time for us to move on south, but Jonathan won't let us go just yet.

'I've got some lovely wine. Come back for a quick gargle.'

Jonathan lives not in a villa but in a top floor apartment crowded with books, paintings and fine furniture. Across this fine furniture struts Birdie, the confident comb-tossing, lady-pecking cockerel with whom Jonathan lives. Jonathan shouts at him frequently, but Birdie takes very little notice.

'He's not an egg-laying bird. He's not house-trained. He's a liability.'

'So why do you keep him?'

'Oh well, I'm alone and he's alone and we keep each other company, I suppose. He likes a bit of telly actually. He likes a cup of tea and a bit of telly.'

'Does he like a gargle?'

'Well, he used to have a bit of wine with porridge, but I stopped that. He got a bit fond of it.'
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  • Series: Sahara
  • Day: 4
  • Country/sea: Morocco
  • Place: Tangier
  • Book page no: 23

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