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  The Chatter Box : Travel
inspired by Palin by fatimashamsher on 11 September 2005 9:02pm
I was never a Monty Python fan. The whole Python thing went over my head as I was probably too young at the time to understand the jokes. My slightly older brother claimed to love it and I desperately tried to as I thought it would make me look highly sophisticated at the grand old age of 8. I could not see the humour. I only really ever liked the dead parrot sketch. I stumbled across "Around the world in 80 days" as my mum used to watch it. Michael is the kind of guy my mother likes along with people like Michael Crawford, Phillip Schofield and Mark Nicholas (Channel 4's test cricket). All are thoroughly nice guys. I became hooked right from the start. It was different to all travel shows before. I detested travel programmes as they usually consisted of some crust englishman or a stuck up woman going on about some place that they had no idea about as they had stepped off the plane, gone to the hotel and then filmed their sequence, had a glass of pimms and shot off. Here was a man who genuinely was interested in different cultures, different countries and their traditions. He made no judgements and was not there to criticise, he just wanted to say what he really felt. From then on I have watched all of the Palin travel shows which are fantastic. Himalaya was superb. I loved it as I am married to a Pakistani and have visited the country and lived there for some time. I saw the closing of the indo-pak border in Lahores outskirts and was desperate to see the spectacle myself.Last winter whilst on a trip to that same city I took my chance. It was difficult to find and the traffic jams caused us to be late. We arrived as the gates to the ceremony had closed. In the distance we could hear the roars of the Indian and Pakistani audience who had gathered to see the flambuoyant slamming of the gates and the lowering of the two national flags. I was desperately upset. My chance had gone. My husband did not give up. He begged the army to let me in saying that I had come just to see this occasion having seen it on Himalaya. When the army officers saw this white hijabed face in amongst a crowd looking thorougly disappointed they opened the gate and instructed me to run. I got there just in time and was enthralled by the atmosphere and the dramatics of the spectacle. Thankyou MIchael, as I stood there I remembered you. Whilst in Pakistan during the summer, I showed the Himalaya DVD to some female friends (Pakistanis) who thorougly enjoyed the show and who learnt a lot about their own country. I hope Michael continues to entertain us in the years to come. The BBC is the richer for his talents.

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