Good News for Pilgrims

April 9, 2007

Years ago, when my ancestor, the noted industrialist and equestrian, Aga Hammerskjold accompanied T. E. Lawrence on his vainglorious missions about The Orient, journeying through the Arabian was the purview of men. Now: monorail enthusiasts. In an effort to improve transportation for the 800,000 pilgrims who annually make the Haj, the Saudi government has decided to follow Herzl’s dreams and build a monorail. I’m of two minds about this. Obviously, as an advocate for urban rail transport, I’m in favor of just about any electrified railway. On the other hand, the ability to travel by monorail negates my reasoning for taking Richard Bulliet’s “Domestic Animals and Human History,” as I no longer need to know everything there is to know about camels. Sigh, it appears as if the hours I spent in his office preparing a microfiche of Le Chameau by Commandant Cauvet were for naught.

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