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Paprika paradise : travels in the land of my almost birth
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His mother is an impetuous Hungarian divorcee who outflirts Zsa-Zsa Gabor. His father is a phlegmatic Englishman who makes Geoff Boycott look vivacious. In the time it takes him to buy a pair of socks, she's met, wooed and won husband number two. Growing up in Australia's whitebread heartland, James Jeffrey ponders the inconceivable: how did these disparate souls ever fall in love? And what mysterious force could keep them bound together? Could Hungary, enigmatic land of stretched vowels, smiles and stupendous disregard for calorific intake hold the answer? Jeffrey's hilarious travels in the paprika paradis--with Dad, then Mum, then bagpipes in tow, not to mention his big-hearted Australian wife and two blond babies--are a revelation. The largely unknown jewel at the heart of Europe will surely seduce readers just as it has enchanted generations of wanderers ever since the Magyar hordes rode out of the east into the Carpathian basin a thousand years ago. James Jeffrey, long a favourite contributor to The Australian's travel pages, is the perfect guide to the land of his 'almost birth', the country that draws him back time and again with its unique mélange of history, culture, gastronomy and--especially--charm.
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