A pleasant surprise--this was better than I expected, in that the author was respectful of people from other cultures and engaged in a certain amount of introspection about why he travels as much as, and in the ways that, he does. Where it disappointed was in the anti-American/America conclusion. Perhaps people everywhere are sometimes jerks, but it's easier to be aware of this in one's own language. As a reductive coda, it seemed too pat. My friend and I used to play a game we called "Europe in America." It served me well and might be useful to Mr. Hoffman. An important aspect of the game was that if we encountered a problem in the U.S., whether while traveling or in the course of daily life, we'd turn to each other and say something like, "How exciting! The road is flooded! What does this tell us about infrastructure?" or "My! They say they have leash laws, but that was a lot of dogs just now!" or "How quaint--you have to tip even if the service was poor." This, I think, made us more mindful of our automatic negative responses and how we might put them aside by treating familiar situations as novel cultural puzzles.Like many travel narratives, this also inspires me to ask, How is it different to travel as a woman than as a man? The dangers are different, and the possibilities more circumscribed by gender violence, and I haven't seen a male writer yet discuss this in any depth.