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Fried Eggs with Chopsticks

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Polly Evans’s itinerary for China was simple: travel by luxurious high-speed train and long-distance bus, glide along the Grand Canal and hike up scenic mountains. Instead, the linguistically impaired adventurer found herself on a primitive sleeper-minibus where sleep was out of the question; perched atop a tiny mule on a remote mountain pass; and attempting a dubious ferry ride down the Yangtze River. Polly was getting to know China in a way she’d never expected–and would never, ever forget.

From battling six-year-olds in kung-fu class to discovering Starbucks in Hangzhou, Polly relives her Asian adventure with humor, enthusiasm, frustration, and determination. Whether she’s viewing the embalmed cadaver of Chairman Mao or drinking yak-butter tea, this is Polly’s eye-opening account of a culture torn between stunning modern architecture and often bizarre ancient mysteries…and of her attempt to solve the ultimate gastronomic conundrum: how exactly does one eat a soft-fried egg with chopsticks

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jul 24, 2006 – Evans reprises the light, kooky formula she adopted with her debut travelogue (It's Not About the Tapas: A Spanish Adventure on Two Wheels) in this account of her solo trip across China. Armed with Wet Wipes, a smattering of Mandarin and tips from friends in Beijing, she travels by bus, train and even a mule from Beijing to the polluted Mongolian city of Datong before zigzagging south to Shanghai, then on to Tibet and ending in Hong Kong. Attracting attention along the way as a waiguoren, or foreigner, she marvels at the "alluringly foreign... but also... hellishly frustrating" country while vigilantly rubbing her hands with antibacterial lotion, a habit that doesn't prevent a nasty cold. In restaurants, she orders by pointing to others' meals; in squalid public restrooms, she holds her breath. She learns a little kung fu and calligraphy, eats stewed dog and drinks yak-butter tea. Though Evans beefs up the story with historical nuggets on the Mao regime and more, her jaunty style often verges on the cartoonish, as with her impressions of unintelligible Mandarin: "gobbledy gook." Evans's sophomore effort will make an entertaining companion for armchair travelers who enjoy women's magazine–style travel writing.
Fried Eggs with Chopsticks
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Asia
  • Published: Sep 26, 2006
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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