Have Pen, Will Travel by MJ Akbar

This book is a great find. Not only is it a tour of many places around the world, it is also a tour de force. There, I managed to use a big word/phrase, long after I wrote my GRE. But seriously, the book is overflowing with wit. Here are a few sample one-liners (well, two in some cases) from it.

The English are different from you and me. They have more clubs.

The Englishman not only has a stiff upper lip but also a stiff lower hand. (he contrasts this with the Italian who gestures a lot while talking, even on the phone where he is unseen)

A brasserie in France is a kind of restaurant and not a kind of brassiere.

A literary fest is the space between ego and alter ego. Give an author a stage and watch a peacock dance.

If the English could only export tradition they would never have a trade deficit.

I will try a gather a few more as I go along. In the same class as Bill Bryson, in my view. And Indian in perspective.

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