We were also misled by M. Michelin's use of the word "impracticable". "Impracticable," we argued with a careful exercise in semantics, leaves just a chance. More than that. As we thought about it, it seemed to give a broad hint that the road was passable to the young and the determined in sturdy motor cars. "Impracticable" — scratched paintwork, discomfort, difficult finding petrol stations, shortage of good restaurants — these it seemed were the sort of hazards the urbane Michelin was trying to convey to us. Alas, he was not.
Gone to Timbuctoo (1961), Ch. 9
Hubert Ronson, as I was to discover later, is the sort of European you are always coming across in Africa. I never made up my mind whether such men leave Europe because their talents are unappreciated in the politer civilisations, or whether they develop them after they arrive. Bullies, thugs, warm-hearted layabouts, at heart they are all the same sentimental, anxious extroverts, with the same endless fund of dirty stories, and the same secret loathing and longing for the cultures they have escaped.