Ayun Halliday may not make for the most sensible travel companion, but she is certainly one of the most outrageous, 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 even more surreal collagen-implant demonstration at a Paris fashion show emceed by Lauren Bacall. On layover in Amsterdam, Halliday finds unlikely trouble in the red-light districteliciting the ire of a tiny, violent madam, and is forced to explain tampons to luggage-searching soldiers in Kashmir: “They’re for ladies. “Bleeding” ladies.” A self-admittedly bumbling tourist, Halliday shareswith razor-sharp wit and to hilarious effectthe travel stories most are too self-conscious to tell.
This second edition includes a new foreword from the author.