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No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons…
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No Touch Monkey!: And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late (Adventura…

by Ayun Halliday

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4811830,690 (3.32)24

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
An entertaining book, but if Stephen Colbert really laughed at every page as he says on his review... he is WAY too easily amused.

Don't get me wrong, I did laugh, but only a couple of times. I think I was more shocked that someone would continue to travel after placing herself (and her traveling companions) in danger time and time again. I would definitely put several of these tales in the "don't try this at home (or abroad)" category. I'm hoping this is just a collection of mis-adventures and that Ms. Halliday actually had some travel experiences that went well.

Her writing is witty and brings a bit of light to these tales, but not really what I was hoping for. ( )
  snotbottom | Sep 19, 2018 |
Ayun Halliday may not make for the most sensible travel companion, but she is certainly one of the zaniest, 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 more surreal collagen-implant demonstration at a Paris fashion show emceed by Lauren Bacall. From taming the wild dog packs of Bali to requiring the services of a bonesetter in Sumatra, Ayun Halliday offers up the best of her itinerant foibles as examples of how not to travel abroad. For instance, 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, which she admits, “might have looked like white cotton bullets lined up in their box,†to soldiers in Kashmir—“They’re for ladies. Bleeding ladies.†A self-admittedly bumbling vacationer, Halliday shares—with razorsharp wit and to hilarious effect—the travel stories most are too self-conscious to tell.
  Alhickey1 | Oct 23, 2017 |
Originally from Indiana, Halliday is a hippie who has traveled to mostly exotic locations, often in the company of one boyfriend or another. She dislocates her knee in Suriname, lives in a dilapidated monastery in Vietnam, gets beaten by a hooker in Amsterdam's red light district and gets malaria in Africa. Halliday's life, at least these travels, is adventurous and nearly fearless. She goes to the most remote places and does dangerous things, which is how she ends up unable to walk and in terrible pain in a place that doesn't have a doctor, or takes drugs she bought from a child in Vietnam, then has a bad experience, something most of us would expect. The writing is fine and her stories are interesting, but her hippie-dippie decisions, like being such a world traveler but not knowing to pack something as simple as a protein bar or a bottle of water, are hard to understand. ( )
  mstrust | Jul 27, 2016 |
Yea... this book crashed and died pretty early for me. VERY clearly not my style. I ended up skimming the second half of the book because I just couldn't take it anymore. It was all over the place, jumping from here to there and I didn't like the prose all that much. I did not invest in Ayun at all. I didn't really like her all that much either, but perhaps that was because I never did really get to know her as a person. So on to other travel books. ( )
  Kassilem | Oct 7, 2015 |
As travel narratives go, this is an average example of the drug-seeking backpacker genre. Halliday is sometimes funny, but her tendency to elaborate on all the ways that she is an unpleasant travel companion override her attractiveness: She doesn't seem fun to share a room, bus, or foreign experience with. Much of the book is not about "lessons learned too late," but perhaps unintentionally about lessons never learned, particularly regarding recreational substances, cut-rate accommodations, and local water. In the last chapter she regrets not enjoying her travel more before she had a child. Had this been the book's starting point and organizing principle, it might have been more interesting, substantive, and memorable. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Things really went to shit in the Munich train station men's room.
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Ayun Halliday may not make for the most sensible travel companion, but she is certainly one of the zaniest, 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 more surreal collagen-implant demonstration at a Paris fashion show emceed by Lauren Bacall. From taming the wild dog packs of Bali to requiring the services of a bonesetter in Sumatra, Ayun Halliday offers up the best of her itinerant foibles as examples of how not to travel abroad. For instance, 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, which she admits, "might have looked like white cotton bullets lined up in their box," to soldiers in Kashmir "They're for ladies. Bleeding ladies. " A self-admittedly bumbling vacationer, Halliday shares with razor sharp wit and to hilarious effect the travel stories most are too self-conscious to tell. "… (more)

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