Friday, February 24, 2006

Bad Karma

I was coming home on the tram, released early from Nederlands class with a ton of 'this is a sample of your next examination' -type papers in my bag. Study over the holiday break and prepare for your Nederlands 1.2 examination ...
However, forgetting my studious and obedient side, I continued on with the latest book... 'Bad Karma - Confessions of a Reckless traveller in South-east Asia' by Tamara Sheward. It's amusing and involves horrendous heart-stopping experiences that surely only an Australian backpacker can have.
And what Aussie book would be complete without mocking their sweeter cousin, the Kiwi. I had been happily engrossed, laughing along then I came to this passage: 'Back in Australia, where we spend so much time poking fun at the flat whines of the Yanks and the bizarre vowels of the Kiwis, it's easy to forget we have an accent at all.'
Okay, so Tamara redeems herself with 'We [the Australians] sound like freaks. Even in their rare moments of calm, Australian women sound constantly hysterical, and the men manage to give the impression that their words are suffocating somewhere between the glottis and their last meat pie. All this while hardly moving our lips at all.

I would never have said that ... ever.

My brothers have lived in Australia for years, they're bigger than me and may not take kindly to this fluent description of the accent they seem to have embraced as part of their Kiwi-turned-Aussie experience.

Anyway, it's a good book if you're looking for something that takes you to Laos on a 'malfunctioning ex-Soviet bomber plane' At the end of that chapter, Tamara muses over her refusal to pop the 3 expired Valium her friend had taken as a precautionary cure for air-fear ... 'But I decided to stay awake. It was a lucky thing I did. Otherwise, I never would have seen the cabin fill up with smoke ten minutes out of Vientiane. Or felt the grating of the plane's wheels as they came down mid-flight. Or watched the dying man get beaned by falling hand luggage as we banged down in Luang Prabang. No, if I'd taken Valium that day, I wouldn't ever have become the neurotic freak that I am today. And what a shame that would have been.'


Alison said...

I chuckled my way all through that book. Glad you're enjoying it.

audrey said...

Oh no! This was the worst book ever written in the entire world! Tamara and her friend are the most obnoxious people I have ever encountered in print. Their refusal to engage with any of the culture around them is infuriating - but worse than that is their incessant bitching about other travellers, seemingly unaware that it's they who are the pretentious, self involved travellers causing ire everywhere they go. Oh I hated it, and it was so culturally offensive!

woman wandering said...

Lol, hi Audrey ... well I suspect that's why I liked it ... they were so much the anti-christ and opposite of all that is good about travel ... it did make me giggle although yes, usually I enjoy a different kind of travel book ... perhaps I had just read so many of them that this was just something refreshingly new. :)