For many Westerners, Eastern Europe is about as appealing as a deodorant-free French armpit. That didn't scare Francis Tapon because not only did he learn how to rough it by walking across America four times, but he is also half French, so he kind of smells too. Francis spent nearly 3 years travelling and backpacking in 25 Eastern European countries. It started with a 5-month trip in 2004. He returned in 2008 to spend 3 years exploring all the countries again. The Hidden Europe is Book Two of the WanderLearn Series. There are 25 chapters (one for each country). Each chapter: Examines an Eastern European country's history, food, language, sites, stereotypes, and drinking habits. Covers Francis Tapon's personal adventures in that country. Ends with a short summary of what practical things you can learn from that country. Francis Tapon yearned for a European adventure, but Western Europe seemed too tame and passe. So he travelled for 3 years visiting every Eastern European country - all 25 of them. The Hidden Europe cleverly mixes insightful facts with hilarious personal anecdotes. It's profound, yet light.
Francis Tapon is a sharp observer who helps you distinguish a Latvian from a Lithuanian, while not confusing Slovenia with Slovakia. You'll also learn: Why Baltic people are human squirrels. When and why Poland disappeared from Europe. Why Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia broke up. Why Hungarians are really Martians. How Slovenians learn languages so quickly. Why the Balkans is so screwed up. Why there's much more to Romania than Dracula. Which Moldovan tradition saves marriages. What the future holds for Belarus, Ukraine, Russia. Why communism was a dream ...and a nightmare. You'll understand a side of Europe that is still mysterious and misunderstood even 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. Francis Tapon is an ideal guide in a book that will become a classic travel narrative.
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