Tanya Kosh has a both brilliant and entertaining writing style, easy to read, yet stimulating and surprising at the same time. When I took notice of her book, being an inveterate foodie as well as an interculturalist, I asked to review it immediately. Travel and food and foreign company are inevitable in my line of work, and table manners seem only to be lightly touched upon in most of the literature about business abroad and expatriation. When They are dealt with, advice is largely behavioral – one gets tips about do’s and don’ts, but very little insight about the logic behind local customs and the inner discourse which supports them as well as raises feelings about their observance or violation.
This book is much more a reflection on the philosophy behind what we do at table rather than an international tour guide. I don't think I would be far off to describe it as auto ethnography, in that the author largely speaks from her own experiences as an extremely well-traveled professional. In addition, there are anecdotal treasures found in the author’s interviews and discussions with others. For those of us who love stories, this approach adds to the pleasure of the read. The line from Crow and Weasel, a children’s book, always reminds me, “Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”