A Glimpse of the Dragon - Beyond the Great Wall

eBook (PDF), 300 Pages
(5 Ratings)
Price: $5.00
When Jan made the hasty decision to trade her career as a Tour Guide in an underground sapphire mine in Central Queensland, Australia, for a year teaching English in Inner Mongolia, China, she had no idea what was in store. At her destination: her elder son, his Chinese wife, a first grandson (whom she'd never met), and a host of Chinese in-laws who spoke no English. Her younger son was a reluctant travelling companion. Culture-shocked to her core, she describes the challenges, humorous and tragic, of meeting new family and teaching in a foreign land where characters are diverse and events bizarre: readers are led through schoolrooms, market-places and smoky mah-jong parlours. "Invented" credentials, family tensions, a collapsing ceiling, and her unrequited lust for a younger man make this book a riveting read. Reviews: Australian customers please email me directly for an affordable signed... More > copy.< Less
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Ratings & Reviews

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4 People Reviewed This Product
  • By Fids
    Oct 4, 2009
    "A read for the Olympics!" What an amazing journey! I cried in the first three pages and was giggling within the next ten. A must read!
  • By mazza
    Apr 18, 2009
    "Inner Mongolia today" An unimaginably exciting journey through the eyes of the author. Great reading!
  • By Shannon Yarbrough
    Apr 16, 2009
    "A Glimpse of the Dragon" I love an adventure story. I’m not talking about the jarring action packed adventure with lots of guns and running, destined for an R rating if it makes the big screen, but instead a personal kind of adventure for one person that ends up being a life changing personal journey for them. And that’s exactly what happened to Janis Letts. On page one, she’s living in the Australia “bush” in the Central Queensland Gemfields as a tour guide for an underground sapphire mine. A historical cottage infested with white ants is where she makes her home. She best sums up her livelihood like this: The greatest strength of the community is its people, an abundance of colourful characters from all walks of life. What we lack in physical comfort we make up for in diversity. What Janis doesn’t know is that those words are about to become a strange metaphor for the journey she is about to take. Her oldest son, Cameron, resides in China. He’s married, has a son, and is... More > about to open his second English school. He persuades his mother to get a tourist Visa and to come to China to meet her new grandchild for the first time, and to be a teacher in his school. On page 2, Janis announces “I’m going to China!” And she persuades her younger son, Hamish, to join her. The difficulties Janis will face start almost immediately, the biggest being the language barrier. But right from the start, Janis remains determined and keeps a sense of positivity about all of this. She’s also a masterful story teller. I hate a coworker’s vacation story that runs long because they have to tell me hour by hour what they did each day. As I’ve already pointed out, Janis announces her intentions on page 2 of this book, on page 4 she’s battling through airport crowds to get on a plane, and on page 6 her plane is touching down in Beijing. She constantly keeps the story moving throughout. Janis’s story is full of small nuances that really make the reader stop and ponder what she is experiencing, from everyone’s strange smoking habits (Cameron explains its a cultural thing) to every rumor you’ve heard before about Chinese food, from nonexistent customer service and no rules for “waiting patiently in line for your turn,” to Chinese in-laws like you have never met before, Janis never offers her own personal opinion about what she sees or hears. She simply points out that its there and that it’s noteworthy. Most of the time I found myself giggling at her perceptions because although she never offers a biased opinion, you just know that inside her head she’s probably saying, “Oh no! What the heck have I gotten myself into?!” But this is no vacation. Being a stranger in a strange land definitely has its consequences. Cameron does a good job of warning his mother to “trust no one” and to never give out their home address. Cameron advises her that the school can’t afford to employ her full time and that she will have to find other part-time work (or not to panic because work will find her). I was stunned when he warns his Mom to be careful of people who approach her with work because she could be “whisked away by white slave traders.” Like Janis I was asking, “Do they still exist?” Janis attacking a pickpocket with an umbrella literally made me laugh out loud, but I was relieved in the end that she didn’t lose her wallet. Janis’s small accomplishments make her so proud, and I found myself smiling with pride and happiness for her. Read the full review at The LL Book Review.< Less
  • By yoosh
    Aug 5, 2008
    "Gripping story of author's personal perspective." Easy yet entertaining reading made it very hard to put this book down. Thoroughly recommend it!
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Product Details

First Edition
Janis Letts
September 30, 2011
File Format
File Size
6.05 MB
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Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch... (See More)
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes
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