Foreword Reviews

No Touch Monkey!

And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late

So is it true, as jokester-man Stephen Colbert attests, that there is a laugh to be gotten on nearly every page of Ayun Halliday’s book about her pre-internet world travel misadventures? A random test is called for. Open book. Page 89. There is this:

Our second night in Paris, we woke to the unmistakable sound of extended copulation. The acoustics of the airshaft were such that our neighbors’ every gasp and groan reverberated with crystal clarity. We lay rigid in our beds, my mother and I, unable to ignore what was happening. … I couldn’t help observing that at least someone was getting her money’s worth out of a Paris hotel room.

Nation, you’re welcome. The book, a second edition after twelve years, takes its title from a sign Halliday saw in Ubud, Bali. It warned, “Do not touch or tease the monkey as the may react with unprediktable manners.” Halliday says in a foreword that the book, more a memoir than a travel book, is a “record of what it was like to be young, foolish, curious, unfettered, stupid, hungry, untethered, amazed—and offline.”

Reviewed by Thomas BeVier

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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