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Fascinating journey through Bolivia.
Twentysomething Tim Elliott had a great plan. He and his girlfriend would go to South America to live there for six months while they worked as a journalistic team (him writing, her taking photos) to support themselves.
Hmm, maybe it wasn't such a hot idea: They'd barely landed in Bolivia before the relationship blew apart. But Tim stuck with his plan and got a job as a reporter on the newspaper The Bolivian Times (having survived the riot and tear-gas on his way to the interview). He then spent six months living in Bolivia, chasing various Latino love interests, getting closer to cocaine than he should have done (there was nearly a very nasty scrape with the US drug-enforcement agency the DEA) and having exhausted temper tantrums lost in the jungle on his way to cover a story.
It was hell to live through, but it's hellishly funny to read. Here's a taste. Tim has just wended his way through the tear gas to the job interview: "So, how's your Spanish?" he asked, in Spanish. I paused. Talking Spanish with strangers always freaked me out. The trick was to speak slowly. But not so slowly that people would think you'd just come out of shock therapy. Taking a deep breath I replied that, yes, I could speak OK, and that with a little more practice it should come together nicely. At least, that's what I wanted to say. What actually came out of my mouth was "Right this exact moment me speak pretty the Spanish, maybe quite handsome from time to time. And believe me, with the exercise a lot will be improving." Peter leaned back in his chair and put his hands behind his head. The upholstery hissed. He stared at me for what seemed an eternity. Then his mouth opened. "You'll be fine." The interview was over.
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 30th November 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia
Edition Number: 1