The Noob Chef Turns Two & “Getting Stoned With Savages” Book Review!

Good Morning My Friends!

I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Around here things are blazing hot, so we are finding creative ways to stay cool. I meant to do this post two months ago, but, well… life. So here I am! The Noob Chef turned two (technically back in May), but yay! What a long, strange journey it has been. (Bonus points if you get that MMO achievement reference). There have been months where I simply couldn’t write. And there were other times where I was cranking out posts twice a day. We tuned into an e-sports tournament watching DoTA 2 and tweeted to the teams, showing them our culinary creations in honor of them. We made Hong Kong Egg Tarts, Curry Laksa, The Chaos Burger, and more! It was a blast.

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We dove into cookbooks eating divine dishes by Julia Child, Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, and Dr. Greger. I learned so much, and over time my palate continued to evolve. In the moments where I felt writers block, I saw you all continue to follow my blog and it gave me hope that, perhaps there is a purpose to my writing. It made me smile, so thank you very, very much.

Over the past two years I have enjoyed immensely diving into your blogs too! From cooking for one with delicious, Aussie inspired food with “Yummy Lummy” to learning more about amazing, vegan food from “Bethany’s Vegan Kitchen” to ogling restaurant choices in and around London at “Life At the End of a Fork” to swooning over comfort food and fine dining recipes with “Rosemarie’s Kitchen” Β to reading stories about life, humor, love, and of course, coffee(!) with “America On Coffee” and so, so many more! I continue to be inspired by you… to learn from you… and hope that you enjoy reading my blog too. πŸ™‚

So thank you many times over for being here and following along with me! It’s an awesome thing when you can carve out a nook in the internet to share your tiny voice, and be an inspiration to each other!

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And now, let’s talk about the latest book I’ve read: “Getting Stoned with Savages”.

We left travel writer Maarten Troost and his then-girlfriend Sylvia just leaving Kiribati in “The Sex Lives of Cannibals”. Sylvia had taken a post there as an FSP Supervisor tasked with the responsibility of helping the I-Kiribati have better sanitation facilities, and to try and teach them how to garden. It had been a long two-year contract for them. Originally from Washington D.C. they were unaccustomed to life on the equator. The heat was blistering. The I-Kiribati often used the beaches as public toilets, and the dogs that roamed the small atoll freely were vicious and eventually were eaten by the locals. After their contract was up they packed up and headed back to Washington D.C.

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But it wasn’t the easiest transition back into life in America either. Things moved at breakneck speed. Maarten secured a contract with the World Health Organization and found himself working 9-5 in a cubicle at their main headquarters. Sylvia went back to work at a non-profit in the D.C. area. They were crammed on sweaty, hot subway cars. Life droned on, and after only a few months of being back in the States they were ready to high tail it out as soon as they could. This is where book two picks up.

Sylvia secured a contract with her company to move to their office in Suva, Fiji. Who wouldn’t want to live in Fiji? Unfortunately, civil unrest in the country made them relocate her to Vanuatu for almost a year before she finally made it to Fiji. “Getting Stoned with Savages” talks about their journey for the next two years living between these two countries. They drank kava, a murky-looking beverage made from chewing kava root, then straining the liquid through basically panty hose… along with someones saliva. Gross? A little. But the locals there swear of it’s almost “hallucinogenic” qualities that keep people coming back again and again for another bowl. They also went through cyclone season which was a grand experience in and of itself.

This book is filled with crazy adventures, tons of laughs, and plenty of travel history to keep you entertained from start to finish. While there, Maarten becomes fascinated with the I-Vanuatu after learning that cannibalism occurred on the islands as late as the 1960’s! From there he begins researching, interviewing, and diving into a deeper, richer history of the South Pacific to better understand what would make a person eat another! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I know you will too!

Stay tuned for more adventures, have a wonderful weekend, and as always, keep on cooking! ❀

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