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March 12 , 2008

A Backpack and a Bit of Luck

Stories of a Traveller with No Sense of Direction



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Since she fled in terror from an earthworm on the workbench of her biology lab, Zhang Su Li has found herself at various crossroads in life. Her penchant for travelling and talking to strangers may have begun when, as a schoolgirl, she met an old British chap who was posted to Malaya and had lunch with him at his home. This pattern of meet, greet and eat would repeat itself at various junctures in her life. Unemployment is not a bad thing when job searches lead her to quirky and often charming characters in a British pub and a gambling den. A flat tyre along a dark silent highway ends in a late-night tom yam and lessons on patience, humility and the kindness of strangers. She helps raid an ostrich nest at a farm for a monster-sized sunny side up. A throw of the dart sends her to Myanmar on a bumpy cross-country bus ride to a feast of salad, fried bugs and sago palm worms. And her adventures as an apprentice Odissi dancer in India is worthy of its own staged epic. Go on. Pick this up and find out what one phone call, a swing of the steering wheel, or a knock on the door can lead to. You might be surprised.


ZHANG SU LI was born in Ipoh, educated in the United Kingdom, and currently lives in Kuala Lumpur. She is a freelance copywriter who spends half her day at work and the other half writing for causes she believes in, cooking, and taking walks in the jungle with her rescued dog Russell. A Backpack and a Bit of Luck is her first book.

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