Around the World in Eighty Couches

16 01 2012

We’ve heard it all: backpacking Asia, roadtrip around America, hitchhiking Ireland, cruising the Amazon, jeep safari in Africa, sailing the Carribean to trekking the Himalayas one way or another we knew a friend of a friend whose uncle’s neighbour’s daughter’s bestfriend whose dentist’s assistant’s niece did this. But Fleur had something different in mind: to experience Central Asia not by mode of transportation, but through mode of hospitality.

It’s one way to sleep with 20 other people in one room in a hostel, but it’s another thing to walk in to a total stranger’s house and sleep on their couch. We’d do it for friends if they need to crash for the night, right? Why not to strangers?
It’s a bit crazy.

“Fleur is about to lose her couchsurfing virginty as she travels through China, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, joining the burgeoning couchsurfing community. Fleur is on a mission to discover what motivates people to intive total strangers to sleep on their sofa and what it is that has made couchsurfing such a global phenomenon. “

As Fleur experiences the global phenomenon of couchsurfing we are introduced to a world where the place is about the peoples’ homes. From mats to cots, on the floor or on a bed that seemed half consumed already by bed bugs to a close encounter of sharing a bed with a couple, a new breed of hospitality is born. When doors are open wide and beds made for Fleur, a sultry ensemble of characters will deliver a story to tell worth reading for.
Maybe in the comfort of your own couch.


Round Ireland with a Fridge

3 01 2010

“I hereby bet Tony Hawks the sum of One Hundred Pounds that he cannot hitchhike round the circumference of Ireland, with a fridge, within one calendar month”

£100 is a lot of money. More so, a lot of money to put a bet on. Though on one drunken night, Tony Hawks agreed to conquer the stretch of the Emerald Isle in one month – by sticking his thumb out – and in an even more bizarre fashion, accompanied with a common household, a fridge!

Go on, raise an eyebrow, but Hawks have managed to do so and even became a travel icon and stole the hearts of the Irish people. Whether his decision to go forth with the bet was an excuse to go on an adventure or to save himself from embarrassment of not fulfilling a so-called-drunken bet, you will flip through the pages laughing out loud as he describes his misfortunes, mishaps, encounters and road less traveled stories of Ireland.

A bestseller, this book will definitely take you straight to the hearts of the Irish people. Their generosity, kindness and openness to strangers (especially hitchhikers) is definitely a reason alone to love the Emerald Isle.

“Have you ever made a drunken bet? Worse still, have you ever tried to win one? In attempting to hitchhike round Ireland with a fridge, Tony Hawks did both, and his foolhardiness led him to one of th ebest experiences of his life. Joined by his trusty traveling companion-cum-domestic appliance, he made his way from Dublin to Donegal, from Sligo through Mayo, Galway, Clare, Kerry, Cork, Wexford, Wicklow-and back again to Dublin. In their month of madness, Tony and his fridge met a real prince, a bogus king, and the fridge got christened. They surfed together, entered a bachelor festival, and one of them had sex without the other knowing. And unexpectedly, the fridge itself became a momentary focos for the people of Ireland.”

A Town Like Paris

28 07 2009

“At the age of twenty-eight, Bryce Corbett was stuck in a dead-end job in London, nursing a broken heart and hungry for some kind- any kind- of change. On a whim he applied for a job in Paris, and before he knew it, found himself with a job offer in hand on his way to the City of Light.
So begins Corbett’s love affair with Paris- home of l’amour and la vie boheme- and he determines to make the city his own, no matter how many bottles of Bordeaux it takes. He rents an apartment in the trendy neighbourhood of Le Marais, happily settles into the French work/life balance (six weeks of paid vacation), braves the local gym (neon-spandex mandatory), and fumbles his way through more than a few awkward lessons in French love. From the smoky cafes to the glittering nightlife, Corbett samples everything his ewfound culture has to offer, apprearing in on a French television game show, hobnobbing with celebrities at Cannes, and attempting to parse the amusing nuances ehind French politics and why French women really don’t get fat. Still, he remains an ex-pat at heart – until he dinds himself falling in love with a Paris showgirl, a beauty whose sequin-clad high-kicks are the toast of the Champs Elysees, proving that in a town like Paris, you never know what will happen next…”

Mostly comedy, partly romance, and a great introduction to Paris, this book is hard to put down. Corbett takes us on his wild adventure about the city of Lights almost giving us hints of the how-to-become-a-Parisian during his journey and a few funny tidbits about one of the world’s most beloved city. He takes us to the backstreets, the underground, the secrets, the unkown, the experience of what it’s like to be an ex-pat in Paris, something that guidebooks just wouldn’t cut for you. This book is for lovers, ex-pats, and travel fans (though as my female friend have suggested, this literary is a guy’s book, once you read it you’ll know why) or just anyone who feels like they’re in the urge of doing something bold out of their ordinary lives to make it a little bit extra-ordinary.

That’s excactly what Bryce Corbett did.