Here’s a travel writer – a well-known humorist – who regards travel as only his second favourite occupation. The biggest spike in his enjoyment graph is arriving home. As he points out, “You’ve got to keep travelling to remind yourself that home is best”
In this latest book – Recalculating – he discusses the bumbling process of international travel and takes the reader back to the days of the intrepid 19th century adventurers. In fact even further back. He examines the claim by an American publisher of African American educational material that aircraft were invented by Africans (in Egypt). Hey Presto – Clarke claims to have discovered that the first flying machine was called a pharaohplane. The DC3 was researched and developed in Egypt by Damocles Caliph III (hence its title) and hieroglyphics revealed that when the astonished Egyptians saw it flying over the Nile’s First Cataract they thought it was a swan and cried out, “A swan! A swan!” (Hence the city of Aswan.)
And he discovered that Cleopatra established an airline – Cleo’s-Air-Operations (C-AIR-O for short) after which the Egypt’s capital was named.
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