For those who think that travel guidebooks are the gospel truth.
WANTED: Travel Writer for Brazil
Decisiveness: the ability to desert your entire previous life–including well-salaried office job, attractive girlfriend, and basic sanity for less than minimum wage
Attention to detail: the skill to research northeastern Brazil, including transportation, restaurants, hotels, culture, customs, and language, while juggling sleep deprivation, nonstop nightlife, and excessive alcohol consumption
Creativity: the imagination to write about places you never actually visit
Resourcefulness: utilizing persuasion, seduction, and threats, when necessary, to secure a place to stay for the evening once your pitiable advance has been (mis)spent
Resilience: determination to overcome setbacks such as bankruptcy, disillusionment, and an ill-fated one-night stand with an Austrian flight attendant
As Kohnstamm comes to personal terms with each of these job requirements, he unveils the underside of the travel industry and its often-harrowing effect on writers, travelers, and the destinations themselves. Moreover, he invites us into his world of compromising and scandalous situations in one of the most exciting countries as he races against an impossible deadline.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?|
|Release Date: 04-22-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Do Travel Writers...|
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Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?
One in the Hand, Two in the Bush
Alone in the fifty-seventh-floor conference room, I repeat the mantra under my breath. I sit in a rigid half-lotus position atop the glass table and watch the suspension cables of the Brooklyn Bridge flicker against the night sky. The office air is sharp with disinfectant. I take a slug of rum and return to my mantra.
John Roebling had a calling. Unfortunately for him, after the buildup, design, preparation, and politicking for the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the hapless bastard promptly dropped dead. His son, Washington, brought the bridge to completion, but not without picking up a case of the bends and almost dying in the process. Neither man ever wavered from a life of dedication, direction, and diligence.
A lot of good it did either of them.
I remove my battered leather shoes, the toes stained gray with salt from the slushy city sidewalks, and knead my left foot through my sweaty dress sock. Hundreds of pairs of headlights move in a stream back and forth across the bridge.
Yesterday during a meeting in this same conference room, a neckless, pockmarked banker pointed out that the name the bends was, in fact, coined during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Hundreds of laborers toiled on the footing of the bridge, eighty feet below the surface of the river. They worked in nine-foot-high wooden boxes known as caissons, which were pumped full of compressed air and lowered to the depths with the men inside. After resurfacing, scores of workers were inflicted with a mysterious illness. Crippling joint pain. Mental deterioration. Paralysis. And for a few, agonizing d