‘Bassboat’. ‘Bizport.’ ‘Passboot.’ ‘Pisspot.’ Its the one English word every Lebanese understands and no Lebanese can say.’
PJ O’Rourke published this book in 1988. At the time he was an international affairs chief and Foreign correspondent. I was introduced to this book by my A level English teacher I think, and I have a still got my copy that I went out and bought way back then, O’Rourke travelled the world, but he chose to write about all the destinations that you don’t see in the travel brochures, usually because they are in a perpetual state of war.
His writing is hilarious, and I laughed from start to finish. I found it and re read some parts when I saw this daily post, and it still makes me laugh just as much as it did back then. Here is an extract from a chapter entitled ‘Third world driving hints and tips’.
‘A kilometre is only 62% of a mile, but if something is 100 kilometres away, read that as 1000 miles because the roads are 620% worse than anything you have ever seen’
Some of the places he covers include Seoul, Philipines, Africa, America, Europe, The Holy Land and Russia to name a few.
You have a visa?
my visa is waiting for me in Tripoli
We cannot take you to Tripoli without a visa
I can’t get a visa without going to Tripoli
You can get a visa in Tripoli?
But we cannot take you there.
You don’t have a visa
No matter how many years have passed, how I am feeling, or how bad my day is, PJ O’Rourke’s hilarious collection of stories always cheer me up. You can read any of the chapters in isolation, or read the entire book cover to cover. I will be keeping my 20 year old copy a few more years yet, for the entertainment factor on a day where I need some smiles!
You can even still get it on Amazon!