This weekend I finished No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late! by Ayun(pronounced Ann) Halliday. There were a couple of laugh out loud moments but most of my time was spent shaking my head at the messes this woman found. Her method of travel is not my preferred method. While I also love taking part in authentic cultural experiences, I've never really had a penchant for sleeping in doorways and train stations to save money. Also, I've never slept in a hostel. Eponymous horror movie notwithstanding, I've felt the money spent on a hotel room was worth it for a sense of security and privacy.
Also, apparently I have a thing with hygeine. I'm sure there are women out there that culturally choose to not shave body parts (see, French and Eastern European women), but for Ayun this seemed to be some badge of honor. I had fleeting glimpses of her touring Europe and Southeast Asia meeting people and showing her pits. I am not this kind of person. In fact I've spent the last few months getting little laser shocks in my pits in a effort to NEVER shave again but still be slick and bare. If anyone is interested in doing this, wait for a groupon because it can be expensive but it is less painful than a waxing AND you don't have to let it grow out to get treatment. I highly recommend it!
Anyway as it is 2012, and everyone has lists, here are the things I learned after reading No Touch Monkey!
1. You should not take pictures of women working in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. This story made me think of CeCe and her travels there, though I personally don't have this on my travel list. I do have friends who I can see dragging me there though.
2. Malaria is nasty. Ask for tough drugs if you go to subsaharan Africa!
3. Massages offered by strange men are not a good idea. Though to be honest I already knew this!
4. Volunteering in countries where the UN has shipped everyone out for their safety is really not recommended.
5. Taking drugs in foreign countries leads to flying beds and talking ceiling fans. Actually now that I think about it taking drugs anywhere probably leads to this. It's why I avoid drugs. I'm not a licensed bed pilot.
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