Book Review: Japan Guide…less: Emails from Japan, by Nicole D’Arcangelo
Thank you very much to Author Nicole D’Arcangelo for my lovely signed copy of this book. I knew I was going to love this book, as soon as I saw the message that Nicole had written to me on the book.
……and I did laugh, a lot!
Back in 2004, I embarked on a journey to Japan to teach English as a Second Language; a job I had never done before. I was totally qualified though because I spoke English. I had wanted to travel more, but not being able to afford it, I had the brilliant idea to move abroad. Kill two birds with one stone – travel and get paid to do it. I knew little about the food, less about the culture, none of the language, and was hired for a job I had never done before. Eh, details.
Follow me as I fumble through the country, living and working, and discovering about the food, culture, and language I once knew nearly nothing about. I’ll give you all the juicy stuff traditional guide books leave out, like what pastries to steer clear of and how to keep your cool while trying to flush a Japanese toilet. However, if you just enjoy a good laugh at someone else’s expense, that’s fine too.
When Nicole first asked me if I would like to read and review her book, I was excited and intrigued. I have previously spent 2 years teaching English in Thailand so I was interested to see how Nicole found life teaching in Asia and was sure she would have some very funny tales to tell.
The Author wrote the books as a series of email messages and a few journal entries, I particularly liked this layout as it was easy to read and I could totally identify with it. I sent many a similar mail during my time abroad!
There are some really funny entries in this book, probably the one I found the strangest was the way Japanese children show their affection for adults! Their little fingers go a place that we might find a bit disturbing…… mmm yes. Read the book to find out more!! Very odd.
The Author mentions that she doesn’t like seafood, now even the readers who don’t know much about Japan will know Japan is big on seafood, sushi etc. Nicole gives great descriptions of all the foods that she has tried, some sound great, some sound awful! Bean Bun! No thank you!
We hear about the places Nicole visits around Japan, her difficulties being larger than the Japanese ladies and many many more intriguing and amusing experiences.
A great quote from the book can sum up Nicole experiences:
“They were curious about me, and I found them curious”
The book has made me want to visit Japan even more than I did before, though if I do go I will be thanking Nicole for the prior warning of where little fingers might go!!
As you can see, my book is well read. This is the type of book that I will flick back to, even just to read a few pages for the humour