“Will you please answer my questions properly?””

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“When the day of our departure was approaching, we went to the regular passport control office to get permission to leave the country. Bengt stood first in the line as interpreter. “What is your name?” asked a ceremonious little clerk, looking suspiciously over his spectacles at Bengt’s huge beard. “Bengt Emmerik Danielsson,” Bengt answered respectfully. The man put a long form into his typewriter. “By what boat did you come to Peru?” “Well, you see,” Bengt explained, bending over the mild little man, “I didn’t come by boat. I came to Peru by canoe.” The man looked at Bengt dumb with astonishment and tapped out “canoe” in an open space on the form. “And by what boat are you leaving Peru?” “Well, you see, again,” said Bengt politely, “I’m not leaving Peru by boat. I’m leaving by raft.” “A likely story!” the clerk cried angrily and tore the paper out of the machine. “Will you please answer my questions properly?””  – Thor Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft



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