Much travel is unpleasant (with over-expectations, too many tourists, and long distances from Australia), but even the sedentary or timorous persist with it in some ‘misguided duty to culture’, as Brendan Shanahan describes in his first collection of essays, Mr Snack and the Lady Water. Assembling journeys from the mid-1990s until now, Shanahan recounts stories that range from the inequities of post-Apartheid South Africa to his experience with so-called ‘dental tourism’ in the Philippines. The result of these peripatetic years has been, as the book’s subtitle suggests, largely uneventful: lost to the author and this reader alike.
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