Thursday, 15 March 2012

Moore, Peter "No Shitting in the Toilet"

Moore, Peter "No Shitting in the Toilet - The travel guide for when you've really lost it" - 1997

When you travel around the world, you come upon all sorts of funny signs. Mostly, these are not intended to be funny, just a translation error, sometimes different cultures play a role, often it is just bad knowledge of the foreign language.

The title of this book stems from one of those signs, the Australian author found it in China. It must have been suggested to me by one of my Australian friends when I mentioned how much I loved Bill Bryson. Well, Peter Moore is just as funny and I don't know why I haven't read more of him (although, I do, I have a huge TBR pile I have to "work on" before I can buy more books).

Peter Moore can be very sarcastic, I love that. His accounts of getting around in foreign countries, meeting the locals, coming across oddities that are not odd to the natives. I loved his style, his "Aussie" slang, his stories, he can tell them so well, you almost think you've been to these places yourself. A very funny travel book with a twist.

From the back cover:

"No Shitting In The Toilet is named after a sign Peter Moore saw on the door of the lavatory at Jack's Café in Dali, Yunnan Province, in China. It's a sign that encapsulated his travel philosophy: that things never quite turn out as you expect. You end up in situations that defy logic, rational thought and, quite often, general well-being - and yet you have a brilliant time, not in spite of these situations, but because of them.

And this is the philosophy behind this book and the reason why it isn't really a normal travel guide. OK, it might look like one in its structure and choice of topics, but in fact it's quite the opposite. Instead of practical hints, it gives you impractical ones (How to avoid jet lag - avoid jets ...) and rather than tell you the best places to stay, it tells you the worst. Instead of celebrating transcendental travel experiences, it revels in the most demeaning ones (On checking the hygiene in restaurants: there are 2 things you don't really want to see in life. The first is your parents having sex. The second is the state of the kitchen in restaurants catering for backpackers.). But in that sense
NSITT is more in touch with the way things really are. The world of NSITT is one where you're more likely to find a cockroach on your pillow than a complimentary mint, a world where you take your life in your own hands every time you get on a bus, a world where everything goes wrong, and you still end up loving every minute of it.

Based on the author's award-winning travel website,
NSITT is not only hugely entertaining but also eminently practical, with advice on everything from Backpacking and Souvenirs, to Sex and Romance and Health and Eating (and some words of advice for vegetarians: hope you like rice...)."

No comments:

Post a Comment