Phaic Tan: Sunstroke on a Shoestring
Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner & Rob Sitch
Chronicle, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
, a hilarious spoof on travel and travel guides, will have you chortling, from its subtitle, '
Sunstroke on a Shoestring
' to a description of local religious beliefs, summed up as
- even the contributor blurbs and
are funny. The book is filled with travel photos (usually with a shift in context).
t seems that Phaic Tan is somewhere in Southeast Asia. Its capital is Bumpattabympah. The country is renowned for: its exotic Thong On province '
where sea meets souvenir shop
' along a Mildew Coast; the mountainous Pha Phlung with spectacular mud-sliding activities; and fertile Sukkondat whose primary crop is opium. The region's history is covered, including a
chart with a
at the top,
at the bottom and characters like
Kick Boxing Day
on December 26th. After weddings, happy couples are showered with sticky rice. Reflexology is applied to auto mechanics. The country's folk music is often used to extract confessions from political prisoners. The epic Mhahamaybrahama poem '
is considered a masterpiece of poetic procrastination.
' The Floating Stock Market is the only one in the world that closes for high tides. And if you go as a family, be wary of hotel Kids' Clubs that ask if your offspring belong to the Textile Workers' Union.
his latest '
Jetlag travel guide for the undiscerning traveler
' continues in a similar vein. Those who've already been to Southeast Asia will enjoy a skewed perspective of the familiar. Those who haven't may never leave home again. Enjoy
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