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Author in (daytime) hot water

Is it true that we British have virtually no hot water and switch off our heating at night? That's the picture of us being painted in a new book published in Japan.

Don't Let Your Daughter Study Abroad says that not only are we stingy, our food is dreadful as well. Apparently the average Brit's daily intake looks something like that Iceland ad where Kerry Katona unveils a Christmas spread consisting almost entirely of battered cakes and choc ices.

The author warns parents of the perils of sending their offspring to school abroad. But it is the United States that tops the no-go list. Yanks are dismissed as monsters.

Prom night, American racism, the brutality of host families and street crime provide just a glimpse of the hideous nightmare awaiting pupils going there, say the writers.

"I think the author is just bitter from a bad experience," rages one American pupil who read the book. "I am not trying to say there is nothing bad about America because maybe we do have our own problems. But I was shocked to find such a book in Japan."

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