[Essay] wit/tickets misplaced/hard currency

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sherishine

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THERE is, after Herodotus, little interest by the Western world towards the desert for hundreds of years. From 425 B.C. to the beginning of the twentieth century there is an averting of eyes. Silence. The nineteenth century was an age of river seekers.
And then in the 1920 there is a sweet postscript history on this pocket of earth, made mostly by privately funded expeditions and followed by modest lectures given at the Geographical Society in London at Kensington Gore. These lectures are given by sunburned, exhausted men who, like Conrad’s sailors, are not too comfortable with the etiquette of taxis, the quick, flat wit of bus conductors.

When they travel by local trains from the suburbs towards Knightsbridge on their way to Society meetings, they are often lost, tickets misplaced, clinging only to their old maps and carrying their lecture notes—which were slowly and painfully written—in their ever present knapsacks which will always be a part of their bodies. These men of all nations travel at that early evening hour, six o’clock, when there is the light of the solitary. It is an anonymous time, most of the city is going home.
The explorers arrive too early at Kensington Gore, eat at the Lyons Corner House and then enter the Geographical Society, where they sit in the upstairs hall next to the large Maori canoe, going over their notes. At eight o’clock the talks begin. Every other week there is a lecture. Someone will introduce the talk and someone will give thanks. The concluding speaker usually argues or tests the lecture for hard currency, is pertinently critical but never impertinent. The main speakers, everyone
assumes, stay close to the facts, and even obsessive assumptions are presented modestly.


Questions:
1 What does this "Conrad" refers to?

2 What does the "wit" here mean?

3 They are" often lost", does that merely mean they lost their ways?

4 Do you have an experience of " tickets misplaced"? Sometimes I forget where I put the ticket, but it doesn't cost much time to find it. So I don't quite understand why the writer put"tickets misplaced" here, as if it could imply something?

5 Does the "anonymous " here means "unimportant"?

6 What does"hard currency" mean?


Thank you so much O(∩_∩)O~
 

sherishine

Junior Member
Joined
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Everytime, you give me so detailed explainations with great patience O(∩_∩)O~
 
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