This is what you do at 37,000 feet. Watch Mark Rylance walk over to a park seat, stop and sit. He takes up his newspaper and reads for a minute before putting it aside to reach down to his left shoe with both hands. The lace is untied. He fixes that.
A small coin has been stuck on the underside of his wooden seat, where he knew it would be. He unsticks the coin, takes it home, opens it and extracts a very small, intricately folded piece of paper that, when unfolded, exposes a message that can only be read through magnifying glass.
I love coming back to Q, it’s so bloody unarguable!
There’s a subtle game you can play in the markets: the days when a large party of mature tourists are moving through, all with small, numbered tags stuck to their clothing. Australians with their rumbling talk. Offloaded from their multi-tiered cruise ship.
He has his name written on a tag attached to his left breast. He is Phil.
There are narrow alcoves in this arcade where you can be still and watch for a while before a stall holder comes over and waves you away.
I let Phil and his wife pass by. Two steps, then I hailed him.
You want to see two fellow Australians stop dead in a crowded market in a foreign land? That’s the situation you have to wait for. When Phil turned and finally found my eye I patted my left breast. Then I looked at his wife, when she found me we exchanged smiles.
Five minutes later I scored another.
The first thing you need to know about Stanley is that The Gents is on the right.