About this title:
Let me say at the top that I didn't have a particularly good reason for moving to Tarawa, a small island in the Republic of Kiribati. There was nothing Quaker-ish, Thoreau-ish or even Gaughin-ish about my taking a little leave from western civilisation which I though was fine mostly, particularly as manifested ion certain parts of Italy...To picture Kiribati, imagine that the continental US were to conveniently disappear, leaving only Baltimore and a vast swathe of very blue ocean in its place. Now chop up Baltimore into 33 pieces, place a neighbourhood where Maine used to be, another where California once was, and so on until you have 33 pieces of Baltimore dispersed in such a way that 32/33 Baltimorians will never attend an Orioles game again. Now take away electricity, running water, tollets, television, restaurants, building and aeroplanes (except for two very old prop planes tended by people who have no word for 'maintenance'). Replace with thatch. Flatten all the land into a uniform two feet above sea level. Toy with islands by melting polar ice caps. Add palm trees. Sprinkle with hepatitis A, B and C. Stir in dengue fever and intestinal parasites. Take away doctors. Isolate and bake at a constant temperature of 100[degrees] Fahrenheit. The result is the Republic of Kiribati, a hard paradise, where despite an unwavering fondness for continents, I soon found myself at home.' J. Maarten Troost spent two trying years in his island paradise. This is his story.
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