This week, Between the Lines is back with a fun interview with the accomplished world traveler, Phileas Fogg. He spent the last 80 days traveling around the world on a bet. I see him now just landing in a hot air balloon. Hello Phileas, how was your journey?
Greg: Did you really travel around the world in that contraption?
Fogg: Oh heavens no. You see as part of my wager I had to use exclusively earth-bound means of conveyance. No, it's only since I've returned that I have had my head in the clouds so to speak.
Greg: Oh I see. This bet that you made, what were the terms exactly?
Fogg: I made the wager with the fellows down at the Reform Club--er, that's a club for world travelers, naturalists and explorers, not a school for miscreant youths. I made the statement that I could circumnavigate the globe in 80 days by ship, rail and any other means of grounded travel that I could dig up. My friends at the club thought I was balmy and wagered 20,000 pounds that I could not do it. Well, that was quite a tidy sum back in those days, so naturally I leapt at the opportunity.
It was only after I had left the club that I began to wonder exactly how I was going to accomplish the feat. Naturally, I hurried to the railway station to obtain a schedule.
Greg: So you accepted the bet without really knowing if going around the world in 80 days was really possible?
Fogg: Er, um yes. Sounds rather daft when you phrase it like that doesn't it?
Greg: I'm sorry, I wasn't making fun. It just seemed a little rash. Are you a risk taker?
Fogg: Well now that's the truly amazing thing. Up until the moment I accepted the wager I would have said no, definitely not. I am normally very calm and rational by nature. In fact, some might say that I am too rigid. I don't know about that, but I am extremely precise. Mathematics is my passion, if one can be passionate about such things. Normally I would have charted out my course, check rail and steamer itineraries and so forth before stating it was possible. For some reason, though, I leapt before I looked this time. I daresay that in the end I was glad I did.
Greg: It certainly seems that you landed on your feet in the end. Did you travel alone?
Fogg: No, my faithful servant Passepartout accompanied me the entire way. I daresay I would not have made my journey in the allotted time without his assistance. It was he that informed me I had arrived home in time rather than a day late as I had first thought, you see.
Greg: You had many adventures along the way. What was the most thrilling for you?
Fogg: That is a poser. Hmmm, let me see. Of course being mistaken for a bank robber and being pursued by that inspector Fix for most of the journey was quite difficult. I think rescuing and finally marrying the fair damsel Aouda would have to be the most thrilling aspect of the journey. Yes, quite thrilling indeed.
Greg: Well, well, I guess it would be, wouldn't it? Thank you so much for spending some time with us today. It really was most enlightening.
Fogg: The pleasure was all mine, I'm sure. Now if you'll excuse me, I really must get back. Passepartout will be putting the kettle on for tea shortly and I really can't be late, simply no excuse for it. Ta, ta!