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February 22 , 2010

No Touch Monkey!

And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late


Ayun Halliday may not make for the most sensible travel companion, but she is certainly one of the most outrageous, with a knack for inserting herself (and her unwitting cohorts) into bizarre situations around the globe. Curator of kitsch and unabashed aficionada of pop culture, Halliday offers bemused, self-deprecating narration of events from guerilla theater in Romania to drug-induced Apocalypse Now reenactments in Vietnam to a perhaps even more surreal collagen-implant demonstration at a Paris fashion show emceed by Lauren Bacall. On layover in Amsterdam, Halliday finds unlikely trouble in the red-light district-eliciting the ire of a tiny, violent madam, and is forced to explain tampons to luggage-searching soldiers in Kashmir: "They're for ladies. Bleeding ladies." A self-admittedly bumbling tourist, Halliday shares-with razor-sharp wit and to hilarious effect-the travel stories most are too self-conscious to tell.
This second edition includes an updated foreword.

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