A travel memoir about two naïve Brown graduates who decide to go backpacking in China very shortly after the country opens up to foreigners. They are unprepared for the food, cultural differences, etc. and definitely can’t handle the pressure.
This woman can tell a story. I was constantly frustrated by the selfishness and stupid mistakes of the two girls, but I still couldn’t put the book down. The writing is immediate and sometimes lyrical. This is a great example of storytelling that keeps your attention until the dramatic end. The best part about the book is that the story is true.
One of the most interesting themes this book raises is the difficulty of maintaining your identity when you are completely removed from your own culture. It is easier for a person to forget who they thought they were when their assumptions and values have to stand against a sea of differences. It’s a good read for any young person abroad from the perspective of a writer who has become much wiser for her experiences.
It’s almost too obvious to say that China has changed dramatically in the last twenty years. This is a great look at what travel there was like for a foreigner not too long ago. As a young woman living in Hong Kong, this reminder is particularly pertinent.
The author's website: http://www.susanjanegilman.com/
$9.99 from the Kindle Store
To what extent do you think travelers should be willing to adapt to the values and practices of another culture?