Allen, an easygoing Canadian, enjoys traveling in leisurely fashion, taking time out to just sit in sidewalk cafes and watch the local color stroll by. He counsels going some place -- any place -- other than Paris, London and Rome where you will meet four hundred other tourists dutifully photographing national monuments. A diffuse, discursive book, this touches on most of the vagaries a jet-hopper must contend with: children who announce, ""I have to go to the bathroom"" just as it's time to board; loudspeakers that sound like garbled Sanskrit; the inadequacies of foreign phrase books -- ""they don't dispose of those little time bombs of word endings that make distinctions between things like 'you're disgusted' and 'you're disgusting'."" And he urges that you forget the restaurant guide and sniff out your own charming bistros even at the risk of being poisoned on the local victuals. Mostly though, Allen offers sentimental still lifes of the village in Dorset where Thomas Hardy set The Mayor of Casterbridge, or the still smaller Brittany hamlet where Champlain was born. For that lazy, inconsequential hour on the back porch and for those who prefer the less traveled roads.