Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic
howeird

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Armenian Deli Follow-up

I forgot to mention one of the more interesting moments at last night's dinner. Beetsy, whose Peace Corps service was in Uzbekistan, showed us the book she is currently reading. The title made me laugh out loud, and I've ordered a copy from Powell's.

Absurdistan
by R. Lee Wright



Readers can vicariously live for a year in Eastern Europe through the eyes of an American professor working in Absurdistan. With a rare blend of humor and insight, Professor Wright shares a year of teaching at universities in Absurdistan, the name given to former Czechoslovakia by its citizens. His job was to help universities overcome the last seventy years of communist propaganda. This true story is a tongue-in-cheek look at the people, history, and geography of Eastern Europe. Become acquainted with Dr. Wright's castle, village, university, and neighbors. Learn the true meaning of Eastern European Time, and the correct way to mime kitty litter. See if you can survive the alternately hilarious and tragic daily life. In turn funny and sad, Dr. Wright combines mordant insights into the human condition with truly touching stories of local citizens. His incisive wit takes on politics, religion, language, and history, with equal opportunity barbs. He lives in an ancient stone cottage just outside the ruins of a castle destroyed by Napoleon, in a genuine quaint little village with no telephone. He rides the same trolleys as the local people. He eats the same food, and shops in the same bazaars. Astoundingly, he survives a year without TV, the internet, or even a golf course. Twenty-four photos add a rare glimpse into the lives, people, and countries of Eastern Europe. The captions alone are worth the price of the book.


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