Civilization is an enormous improvement on the lack thereof.
September 7th, 2008
We had our first taste of spring in Melbourne yesterday, so I headed to the park with a book. I was going to take one of the many books that I’m halfway through, but instead decided to pick up one of my all time favourites – Holidays in Hell by P.J. O’Rourke. I’ve re-read this book a few times now and I still chuckle away at P.J’s witty and irreverent observations. Even though the book was written in the late 1980’s and the 3rd world political references are a bit dated his experiences in Lebanon, Panama, Korea, Philippines, USSR, South Africa and Northern Ireland are still relevant and entertaining. Here’s a sample of some of the many great quotes from the book:
The larger the German body, the smaller the German bathing suit and the louder the German voice issuing German demands and German orders to everybody who doesn’t speak German. For this, and several other reasons, Germany is known as ‘the land where Israelis learned their manners’.
I’ve always figured that if God wanted us to go to church a lot he’d have given us bigger behinds to sit on and smaller heads to think with.
One nice thing about the Third World, you don’t have to fasten your seat belt. (Or stop smoking. Or cut down on saturated fats.) It takes a lot off your mind when average life expectancy is forty-five minutes.
If Christ came back tomorrow, He’d have to change planes in Frankfurt. Modern air travel means less time spent in transit. That time is now spent in transit lounges.
What would be a road hazard anywhere else, in the Third World is probably the road.
Italy is not technically part of the Third World, but no one has told the Italians.
There are a lot of mysterious things about boats, such as why anyone would get on one voluntarily.
The Italians have had two thousand years to fix up the Forum and just look at the place.
Two key rules of Third World travel: 1. Never run out of whiskey. 2. Never run out of whiskey.
It’s important to understand that in the Third World most driving is done with the horn, or “Egyptian Brake Pedal,” as it is known. There is a precise and complicated etiquette of horn use. Honk your horn only under the following circumstances:
1. When anything blocks the road
2. When anything doesn’t.
3. When anything might.
4. At red lights
5. At green lights.
6. At all other times.