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Fried Eggs with Chopsticks: One Woman's Hilarious Adventure Into a Country and a Culture Not Her Ownby Polly Evans
Synopses & Reviews
Polly Evanss itinerary for China was simple: travel by luxurious high-speed train and long-distance bus, glide along the Grand Canal and hike up scenic mountains. Instead, the linguistically impaired adventurer found herself on a primitive sleeper-minibus where sleep was out of the question; perched atop a tiny mule on a remote mountain pass; and attempting a dubious ferry ride down the Yangtze River. Polly was getting to know China in a way shed never expected-and would never, ever forget.
From battling six-year-olds in kung-fu class to discovering Starbucks in Hangzhou, Polly relives her Asian adventure with humor, enthusiasm, frustration, and determination. Whether shes viewing the embalmed cadaver of Chairman Mao or drinking yak-butter tea, this is Pollys eye-opening account of a culture torn between stunning modern architecture and often bizarre ancient mysteries…and of her attempt to solve the ultimate gastronomic conundrum: how exactly does one eat a soft-fried egg with chopsticks
"Evans reprises the light, kooky formula she adopted with her debut travelogue (It's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels) in this account of her solo trip across China. Armed with Wet Wipes, a smattering of Mandarin and tips from friends in Beijing, she travels by bus, train and even a mule from Beijing to the polluted Mongolian city of Datong before zigzagging south to Shanghai, then on to Tibet and ending in Hong Kong. Attracting attention along the way as a waiguoren, or foreigner, she marvels at the 'alluringly foreign... but also... hellishly frustrating' country while vigilantly rubbing her hands with antibacterial lotion, a habit that doesn't prevent a nasty cold. In restaurants, she orders by pointing to others' meals; in squalid public restrooms, she holds her breath. She learns a little kung fu and calligraphy, eats stewed dog and drinks yak-butter tea. Though Evans beefs up the story with historical nuggets on the Mao regime and more, her jaunty style often verges on the cartoonish, as with her impressions of unintelligible Mandarin: 'gobbledy gook.' Evans's sophomore effort will make an entertaining companion for armchair travelers who enjoy women's magazine — style travel writing. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
As a former editor at Hong Kong's largest weekly newspaper, Evans thought she knew China well. When she learned the Chinese had built enough new roads to circle the equator 16 times, she decided to take a fresh look at this vast nation.
About the Author
Polly Evans studied modern languages at Cambridge University prior to working for a London publisher. After four years she moved to Hong Kong to become a journalist for HK Weekly before embarking on her epic journey around Spain—the subject of her first book, It's Not About the Tapas. Polly is also the author of Kiwis Might Fly, forthcoming in 2007.
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Travel » Asia » China
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