I have not yet read Rita’s Tales of a Female Nomad, however the concept of a series of stories from friends of the female nomad intrigued me, being a bit of a female nomad myself, that I picked up this book by the introduction from Worldette.
Female Nomad and Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World is a series of stories and essays by Rita Golden Gelman and other female and male travellers. Some stories tells of the writer’s first journey into foreign lands, discovering and rediscovering the cultures that are both foreign and familiar; many writers used their stories to express their anguish and emotions at their time of need and loss, while others used the stories as a form of self evaluation, allowing us, as readers to form our own judgements on their options and choices.
I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy every story in the book. While most were intriguing and good reads, some where a little average and was nothing more than just text without direction nor shape. I did however, enjoy the recipes. Food, as we would expect, featured in most of the stories, as one of the most magical thing about travel is the ability to sample the world’s cuisines and flavours. Many stories came with recipes of dishes discussed in the stories, where as readers we could try and sample as we continue the many journeys of the writers.
This book is particular great for book clubs and discussion groups. The stories reflect the ideas and scenarios that could happen to any traveller, The author herself have compiled a series of discussion points at the end of the book to provoke thoughts and opinions. She makes a good point in these discussion notes on the common theme throughout the book; other than food, there is the element of trust. When we travel, we must place some form of trust in strangers, whether it be the custom official at the airport, the hotel receptionist, the corner store owner, or just the fellow passengers on the train. We place ourselves in situations where it is our mutual trust in each other that pulls us through (or break us apart) and essentially, while the world might seem a big bad place in the media, our trust between travellers and those who receive travellers is what continue to give us the courage to take the risk to seek out foreign experiences and make foreign friends. The book has given me a few things to think about, the way I travel, and way I perceive others and the way I have developed as a traveller. I think there is a lesson for everyone of us in this book.
Next step for me is to actually attempt some of the recipes, or I could just plan a few trips and taste them from where they came from.
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