The very aptly named Mr Pong had the kind of breath that could stun at over ten feet… This wasn’t just bad – there was something rotten down there. Something had crawled in and died. Gunter howled with laughter as he saw the look of horror on my face. It was the best entertainment he had seen since he had watched Chef chasing yaks through the kitchens.
Few foreigners are lucky enough to set foot on Tibetan soil, but Alec Le Sueur spent five extraordinary years there, working in the unlikeliest Holiday Inn in the world. Against the breath taking beauty of the Himalayas unfolds a highly amusing and enlightening account of his experiences. Fly infestations at state banquets, unexpected deliveries of live snakes, a predominance of yaks and everything yak-related, the unbelievable Miss Tibet competition, insurmountable communication problems and a dead guest are just some of the entertainments to be found at the ‘Fawlty Towers’ of Lhasa.
Le Sueur, the only Westerner since the days of Heinrich Harrer to spend so long in Tibet, examines the country’s intriguing cultural background, providing a fascinating insight into a country that was only just opening up to the outside world.
“...offers lucid details about living in a place that westerners tend to misunderstand.” (Time Magazine)
“An hillarious account of a clash of cultures...a comparison with Fawlty Towers is inevitable, but this is funnier.” (Mail on Sunday)
“Imagine moving Faulty Towers from Torquay to Tibet...Le Sueur has distilled five years of real anecdotes into one hilarious volume...unbelievably true.” (Focus Magazine)
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