Dealing With Baggage Limits

By Gretchen Berg

Sourcebooks 14.99 390 pages

Not all travelogues need to be heavy philosophical discourses, or ignore the effect of shoes on the world’s economy. I Have Iraq in My Shoe is the fun story of how Gretchen Berg taught Iraqis and Kurds how to speak English, paid off her debt, and didn’t accrue any more costs due to baggage rules. Although she failed mostly at the latter, she did nonetheless help Italy’s economy through her shoe buying, and she was able to find how another culture shared a few things in common with hers and how much it really was different.

This was a fun book. Berg is the kind of no-nonsense person that makes reading personal journals fun. Her tallies of her debt, amount spent on baggage fees, and shoes bought make for some interesting notes, but that’s the tip of an iceberg, where she explores Iraq, first at the school she teaches and then the Middle East in general. She is very conversational, so the details she explores come to life for the reader in a very fun way, especially with products like Virgin Soap. This is a fun journal, and for those going to Iraq, especially women, it is a must read.

Reviewed By Jamais Jochim

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