The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul

2005-04-18

Ever Wonder About "The Sex Lives of Cannibals"?

After reading this book about the island nation of Kiribati, I was sort of tempted to list it as "A Place to Avoid Going to if You Can". But, it just seemed sort of like kicking an injured kitten. Hardly sporting, and does it really deserve that kind of treatment? Nah!

Like many people, I have this image of a South Seas paradise. Tropical breezes, surf, palm trees, white sand beaches, vibrant turquoise and green, pineapples and coconut. I know I've been paying too much attention to travel advertisements, but I'm sure you have some of the same images come to mind when you think of that region.

I even planned on running away there myself a couple years ago when I had the sergeant from hell as my old boss. (If there is any justice, there's a special place in the eighth circle of hell for him in the afterlife....but I digress.) J Maarten Troost actually did leave everything behind to follow his then-girlfriend to the remote South Pacific nation.

Kiribati, specifically Tarawa, where the author lived, has the turquoise seas and white sand. It's got wreckage left over from a bitterly fought World War II battle still lying around.

But it's also got a disposable diaper problem, erratic beer and food replenishment, and during the time that Troost lived there, a horrible fascination with "La Macarena". Not to mention,"As far as I could tell, the government spends a lot of time drinking and brawling. No workshop on global climate change is complete until the assistant secretary of the environment has passed out in a pool of beer barf ..."

The book itself is a hell of a vicarious adventure. If nothing else, you'll learn what to bring and what to leave home if you ever do run away to a remote island. Check it out sometime!

3 Comments:

  • At 12:11 PM, Blogger half said…

    most of the gilberts are hell-holes.

     
  • At 11:53 PM, Blogger Kory O said…

    Yup, that's what I got from reading that book.

    Think I'll stick to Hawaii.

     
  • At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I spent the last 9 months on Christmas Island, one of the atolls of the Republic of Kiribus, as part of a project to clean up the British Cold war legacy.

    I read "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" after arriving on the island. Had I read this book before coming here I would have thrown the BS flag on 50% of it. Having lived here for quite some time I can safely say it is ALL true and then some.

     

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