I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
This was a very heartfelt book that set out to divulge the different factions that have been warring for years on this fantastic island.It also delves into the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated the island.I find myself compelled to want to travel to this country,but think I would simply avoid the north and its myriad of problems.The preserve in the southwest where birds and numerous rare tree species really seemed like a fantastic place to go.
The author really does her best to try and penetrate the complexities of Asian society.I live in China and have studied the language in depth,but often still feel I am on the outside after nearly three years of living here.I felt like she was able to really know the people there better because they were fluent in English.
The author seemed a bit depressed at first.Having been divorced,but he goes on a seven year adventure by himself,which was perhaps fool hardy.The recounting of navigating the Cape York peninsula and the whole coast of Australia was enthralling as he nearly runs his boat aground.The stories about Sri Lanka,the Maldives and navigating the Red Sea in gale force winds made me think he was courageous.When he glossed over Europe I could understand that this part of the world is overpriced.Going through the Panama Canal lochs was also cool.He picks up a couple of backpackers to help with the navigation.I was left feeling like the sea is perhaps the last place on earth a man can be alone with his thoughts and truly free.In the deep ocean there is less concern for hitting rocks and when provisioned right a blissful place that often ends in island hospitality.When he met the tug boat captain in Sri Lanka he began to understand that we have all the capacity for happiness within us.
Narrated by the gifted Simon Vance who brings life to this authors rather caustic view of a rising country.The traffic,the babies pooping in the gutter,and the strange customs and foods of the world's oldest culture are all brought to life as Martin Troost visits many of the best locations in a massive country.Not quite as good as going the personally,but the next best thing.I felt like the author perhaps exaggerated the difficulty of Tiger Leaping Gorge.While it was steep in some places I felt less nervous hiking the trail than I did taking a small van back along the treacherous mountain road beneath the mountain that was being held up precariously in places by wire mesh.One big boulder the hit our van and we could have been floating the Yangtze River.The author talks of his republican friend who was a smoker riding a donkey.I think this part of the book was embellished to appeal to the reader.Many travel writers fictionalize characters to make things more interesting.