These cautionary tales of a young American woman on a raunchy romp of one-night stands with dubious men is new take on the innocent abroad. The lurid details of her sexual exploits in Amsterdam and Vienna are at times buttock-clenchingly frank, but the vulgar and sometimes irreverent anecdotes are rendered highly entertaining by her self-deprecating acerbic Jewish humour. Probably not suitable material for a book group, though!
What was stupid was that I was stuck in this fucking country, freezing, starving, miserable. I was wasting the good years, the fearless years, when everything seems possible and, by virtue of belief, is; that brief, blessed convergence of youth, of beauty, of charmed foolishness, before the world gets small again; your dreams compressed by limitation and regret until they are nothing more than a half-forgotten frivolity, like a penny you put in one of those machines on the boardwalk at the beach. A cheap souvenir imprinted with the image of a place you scarcely remember. And what was I even doing this for? To find myself?
Let’s be honest: I wasn’t exactly trekking the Himalayas or sailing into of the Amazonian jungle here: I was working a shitty job and being randomly harassed by creepy men, two things I had been doing just fine at in New York, thank you very much. While many young women, no matter how capable, fall prey to such individuals at some point in their lives, the young woman living abroad finds herself uniquely vulnerable to such offensive machinations due to linguistic barriers, a disinclination to be rude, and an ambition to live up to her own invented image of herself as a free spirit who is up for anything.
To my deep shame, I was no exception.