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The Travel Gods Must Be Crazy

 There are well-travelled people, and then there is Sudha Mahalingam, who is in a league of her own by travelling to 66 countries! Her book ‘The Travel Gods Must be Crazy: Wacky encounters in exotic lands” clearly had to be written because here’s a woman with so many stories and anecdotes to share with the world that they must have come bursting out of her.

The title of the book seems to have been derived from one of my favourite movies from my childhood ‘The Gods must be crazy,” which was a hit in the eighties. And after reading the book, you will be quite convinced that the title is suitable. She is clearly a traveller, not a tourist.

Each chapter in the book describes a different trip that she has undertaken at some point in her life. Each chapter is independent and the book is a collection of these travel tales (not for the faint-hearted, I might add).

She lands up in the Czech Republic without a valid visa and was caught without yellow-fever vaccination in Nairobi airport.

She has trekked to Annapurna Base Camp as a senior citizen and done skydiving at age sixty-six.

She has been to the jungles of Borneo and seen the pandas at Chengdu. She has walked on an artisanal prototype bridge made entirely of single-origin bamboo and ropes over the river Siang in Yingkiong and lived to tell the tale.

There is also a chapter dedicated to how she managed as a vegetarian in places where they ate anything that crawled, moved or had legs!

Her sense of humour and spirit shine through on every page.  She paints a word portrait of everything she sees. Her descriptions of family, friends and people she meets along the way are laced with good humour and make you chuckle.

Interspersed with nuggets of information about each place she has been to, the book is a wonderful travel memoir that I highly recommend.

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