By Ayun Halliday
Ayun Halliday explores the hi-octane underbelly of the cost-efficient backpacker way of life From drug-induced Apocalypse Now re-enactments in Vietnam, hassle within the pink gentle district in Amsterdam to an unforeseen stumble upon on a camel in Pushkar, Ayun bargains an armchair portal at the adventure of the shoestring visitor. With a knack for putting herself in to weird and wonderful occasions around the world, Ayun stocks the trip tales such a lot are too self-conscious to bare.
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Extra info for A Sarong in My Backpack
Immediately, we both dropped our eyes, scuttling to the safety of our respective roles, me a seedy backpacker without reserves or wits, him an immigrant dolled up in the unmistakable finery of the servant class. That encounter hadn’t soured me on Amsterdam, just the hostel, which wasn’t much of a hostel anyway, not the kind where you linger over the breakfast table, the beneficiary of a Swiss youth group’s chocolate. It was more like a holding pen where hollow-eyed strangers padlocked their backpacks to the rickety bunk beds before slinking away to pursue some solitary vice.
I’m not sleepy,” he prickled. I didn’t feel tired either, but in my role as the veteran traveler, felt it imperative to practice conventional backpacker’s wisdom. Scrunching my eyes against the fluorescent lights, I endeavored to lose consciousness, an impossible assignment, given the hypothermia-inducing air conditioning. Rifling through my pack for a sweatshirt, I consoled myself that the Chinese hotel I had read about in Lonely Planet’s South-East Asia on a Shoestring would not have air conditioning.
Their vehement warning to avoid the red-light district had struck me as so frumpy and unwarranted that first morning at breakfast. They were like my grandmother, disparaging punk rock and the shopping mall on the other side of town, things she feared but knew 47 A SARONG IN MY BACKPACK nothing about. For most visitors to Amsterdam, the red-light district offered nothing more dangerous than governmentsanctioned sex for hire. Seedy though it may be, it’s a bona fide tourist attraction even for those interested in looking only, bizarre primarily because it’s such an open spectacle.
A Sarong in My Backpack by Ayun Halliday