This is a unique collection of brief encounters and adventures from working in seventy countries - a kaleidoscope of landscapes, sounds, smells, politics, humour dialogue and, above all, people. E T Laing recounts episodes that include a Chinese Red Guard reminiscing about the day her parents were hauled in front of her to be sentenced; unreconstructed Russian apparatchiks; and sailors on a Turkmenistan ferry knocking back vodka.
A warts-and-all account of the author's travels, with disasters and miseries alongside the high points, he takes you to danger zones, wars of startling savagery in Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Angola, coups and dubious elections. He narrowly avoids death in India, Mexico and Nigeria. In other episodes he simply savours the pleasures of travelling alone. As the author says, 'Nothing sharpens the understanding more than seeing things done ten different ways in ten different countries.'