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Today's quote:

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

I've just discovered Rory MacLean!


At my age, armchair-travel has a lot going for it: no long queues at airports, no crammed airline seats, no lengthy Customs checks. Even so, unlike Rory MacLean, my first real trip to Burma had not happened by mistake.

I'd been flown out first-class by TOTAL - Compagnie Française des Pétroles from Papua New Guinea to Hong Kong's five-star PENINSULA to New Delhi's OBEROI, from where I made a dash to the Burmese Embassy for my visa before clambering onto an ageing UBA plane to Rangoon.

Finding Rory MacLean's book Under the Dragon - A Journey Through Burma (1998) makes up for lost opportunities because when I was in Burma, I was too busy setting up the accounting systems for TOTAL's new offshore oil exploration office in Rangoon to see much of the country.

I started reading it online - and so can you: simply create an account with archive.org - it's free!, then log in to "borrow" the book - but call me old-fashioned because I still prefer the tactile experience of holding a real book in my hand, and so I ordered it on ebay.

Until it arrives, I'll continue reading it on archive.org which has four more of Rory's book online - Stalin's Nose - Travels Around the Bloc (1992), The Oatmeal Ark - From the Scottish Isles to a Promised Land (1997), and Magic Bus - On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India (2006) - which is a surprise as they are recent titles and still under copyright.

But who am I to question this? Indeed, who AM I? - but that's a question better left for another time.

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