Single, stressed, and living amid the hustle and hurry of modern Hong Kong, Polly Evans had a vision: of mountains and orange groves, matadors and promenades–and of a glorious, hassle-free journey across Spain by bicycle. But like any decent dream, Polly’s came with its own reality: of thighs screaming with pain and goats trying to derail her, of strange local delicacies and overzealous suitors. In fact, like any great traveler, Polly had bitten off more than she could chew–and would delight in every last taste of it.
Exploring the country that gave the world flamenco, chocolate, sherry, Franco, and Picasso, Polly takes us from the towering Pyrenees to the vineyards of Jerez de la Frontera, spinning tales of conquistadors and kings, vibrant history and mouthwatering cuisine. In the end, this hilarious, irreverent, always engaging memoir of a journey on two wheels unveils a lot about one modern woman, even more about an utterly fascinating nation, and countless reasons why it’s better when you do it on a bike.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: It's Not About the Tapas|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Dell Publishing|
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It's Not About the Tapas
Breaking the Chain
I had to get out of Hong Kong.
The city was going crazy, and it was taking me down with it. The second economic crisis in four years was looming. The property boom had bust; the stock market was plummeting and brokers without bonuses were hurling themselves from high windows and making a nasty mess on the streets below. On the pavements, the hordes scurried, shoved and elbowed their way through the summer smog, screeching into their mobile phones in high-volume Cantonese like slowly strangled turkeys. Over the border in big, bad China, the superannuated Party leaders looked on bemused at their new dominion, at this petulant beast called capitalism.
In the marketplace, fruit and vegetables festered. Fish flipped over the edges of their plastic washing-up bowls and writhed on the blistering tarmac. Tensions simmered and tempers boiled. The stallholders settled their arguments with Chinese kitchen knives, the chopper being the Hong Konger's second-favorite weapon after the pointy end of an elbow, while the triads nervously fingered their tattoos and lopped off the little fingers of those who annoyed them.
In the alleyway beneath my flat, my neighbors tried to improve their chances in these uncertain times by burning offerings on the bonfires of that summer's Hungry Ghost festival. The stock market could no longer be relied upon to provide riches, so they turned to their ancestors instead. The smoke wisped its way past my windows and up to the spirit world, carrying the charred remains of paper money, paper sports cars, paper Nike sneakers, paper Big Macs and even paper Nokia 8310 phones, complete with paper batteries. Hong Ko