The bird man and the lap dancer: close encounters with strangers

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Pantheon Books, Oct 12, 2004 - Travel - 228 pages
26 Reviews
Eric Hansen is an intrepid traveler with a keenly perceptive eye and an appreciation for the odd and unusual. He will go anywhere and try anything. Through it all he manages to capture the most revealing conversations and the most transporting moments in his travels, from the Maldives to Sacramento, from Cannes to Borneo and far beyond.

Hansen writes about the mind-altering experience of drinking kava in Vanuatu and about heartrending moments working at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying Destitute in Calcutta. He joins a grieving husband searching for his dead wife’s wedding ring at a crash site in the Borneo rain forest. He recounts his miraculous survival of Cyclone Tracy on a fishing boat off the north coast of Australia, and he befriends an elderly Russian woman who would prepare catered dinners for George Balanchine and Igor Stravinsky in her tiny Manhattan kitchen while drug dealers were shot to death in the downstairs lobby. He spends time with an ornithologist who studies endangered ants and the sex lives of banana slugs—and takes topless dancers on bird-watching expeditions.

Each essay is a passionate experience of life refracted through the eyes and voice of a singularly evocative and original writer.

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Review: The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers

User Review  - Bruce - Goodreads

very funny, awesome travel stories Read full review

Review: The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers

User Review  - Colleen - Goodreads

Enjoyed the opening story about the homeless woman and the ballerina and the story that contributed the title. Read full review


Arlette and Madame Perruche
Life at the Grand Hotel
Listening to the Kava

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