A pal of mine just got his book published called
"Notes from the Other China". Here's a little write up:
"By turns irreverent, informative and amusing, a dauntless young man captures the experience of the expatriate in Asia. Notes is a humorous yet insightful romp based on the author s decade-long experience as an English teacher in Taiwan (the other China ) and Korea, with expeditions to other parts of Asia. With a lively appreciation for the absurd, he cuts through the frustration to moments of splendor, friendship and stirring human warmth.
Part travel narrative, part cultural exposé, Notes is based on the author s decade-long experience as an English teacher in the less-traveled parts of Asia. Taiwan, or the other China, takes center stage, while Japan, the Koreas, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal and Vietnam also play their parts.
Steering clear of politics, Parfitt focuses on the individual humans he meets. This is a glimpse of real life in the shadow of China, neither a dry-as-dust academic treatise nor a heroic tale of surviving the Cultural Revolution. He takes a look at Korea s fever-pitch nationalism and gives an assessment of the world s only Chinese democracy, has a run-in with a Nepalese rhinoceros and one or two equally volatile Vietnamese tour guides. Most of all, he ponders the actions and reactions of the people he encounters as he finds his way in an alien world: the man on the street, in the pub, in his adult language classes and sometimes weirdest of all his fellow Westerners. Simple people greet the author with everything from spontaneous gestures of friendship to sudden slaps, from openness and warmth to rock-headed obtuseness.
Parfitt endures the jolts of traveling where there is no travel industry, touring where there is no tourism infrastructure, and teaching map-reading skills where there is no Western-style logic and adults freely admit they can hardly find their way to work and back. He shares it all with the reader over a beer, and all is well again with the world. Then he's off to look for more. A picture emerges of a fractured, diverse humanity muddling along and still getting by together in spite of all."
You can purchase it here:
He also has a website to visit and a blog to add comments:
Maybe a little something for under the Christmas tree???