"BEHIND THE SCENES"
Thank you for joining us as we go behind the scenes of
with the Sixth edition
"Behind The Scenes".
Robert Fear takes us on his journey, as he travels in Asia taking daily notes in a diary.
This authentic look into his dairy has been extended by going behind the scenes with Robert as he reveals himself to us each week with an original inside look.
This week Robert Reflects with
"Freedom At Last"
Freedom at LastThe nightmare of our Thailand experience is still very vivid in my mind. Despite that I am really enjoying my freedom again and the bad memories are slowly fading as I start to appreciate life in India.
It was only a few days ago that I was anticipating being in Malaysia and Indonesia. I was so looking forward to meeting up with my friends from Chiang Mai. That was not meant to be! Instead, as I boarded the plane in Bangkok, I was still unsure whether I would be allowed into India, with all the Thai stamps and writing in my passport.
The feeling of true release only really came as I walked out of Delhi airport in the early hours of the morning, having successfully negotiated passport control and customs. It was like a new adventure into the unknown but it felt like real freedom at last. I was in a state of exhilaration, overwhelmed by a sense of relief.
That first bus journey into Delhi made a strong impression on me. I saw a lot of the countryside before coming to the city itself, which is quite spread out. Connaught Place doesn’t seem like a central district at all. There is a park in the middle surrounded by a circular road on which stand a lot of shops and houses, none more than a couple of stories high.
Indians seem a vociferous race but not offensive in any way. Upon arrival in Connaught Place I was mobbed by a friendly group of taxi drivers and soon I was in one of their scooter-taxis heading for the Natasha Hotel.
The weather is hot but dry and quite bearable. Traffic is noisy, a fascinating combination of horse-drawn traps, bicycles, scooter-taxis and cars. There are also a lot of cows wandering the streets. They seem to have their own sleeping places alongside the road and are of course tolerated because they are sacred animals in India.
There have been moments in my time here that I have been feeling very lonely and far from home. I have sent off some postcards and letters to fellow travellers and friends to let them know what had happened and where I am heading next.
One letter was to Rita, my girlfriend from Germany, telling her of my plans and also to suggest she might like to come to India for a while. I’ve always promised her that we could have a holiday together sometime but was dubious of how it would work out. We’ll find out soon if she accepts!
Since arriving here I have been finding out more about this remarkable country and started to make plans again. In the next day or so I intend to get the train to Agra and spend a few days there before heading towards Nepal, and of course the capital, Kathmandu.
|Roberts real passport pictures courtesy of Robert Fear|
Went to the platform and the train was already there. It was filling up fast so I jumped on. Found a place in the corridor by a window where I had to sit on my bag as there were no seats left. The compartment was absolutely jam-packed and there was no room to move. Even so they managed to pack in more people at a couple of stations along the way.
We stopped at one when things started to go wrong. I had been perched on my bag reading, getting covered in soot and dirt from the steam engine, when for the first time I had to move as the platform came along on my side.
It wasn’t easy, to say the least, as I battled against crowds of people and became pretty dazed fighting to get away from the door. Only about ten minutes later did I discover that my wallet was missing!
After a search round, with the help of virtually everyone in the carriage, I came to the conclusion that someone getting off at the previous station had picked my pocket. I was upset and annoyed at myself as this was the first time in all my travels I had been a victim of anything as basic. There was R290 in the wallet but at least I still have my passport and travellers cheques.
The people in the carriage were good to me. They first helped look for the money and when we realised it had been stolen they started a small collection, which at first I tried to stop. Everyone put in one or two rupees, quite a lot for many of these people. In the end they collected nearly R80 which was given to me.
I was really grateful and couldn’t thank them enough.
India has the second largest rail network in the world. That, combined with the fact that 23 million passengers a day ride its rails, help to explain why its trains are so overcrowded that you can often see passengers hanging out the side.
It's a long-standing tradition to take the train in India — the oldest train in the world, built in 1855, also runs on the India rail network between New Delhi and Rajasthan.
If you think your commute is bad, or airport lines are giving you the travel blues, just take a look at these insanely crowded trains in India.
You might feel a little less claustrophobic.
Read More of this article form The BusinessInsider.com
Did you miss the past five segments of
Behind The Scenes?
Fascinating time capsule from the 80’s
NEWLY RELEASED SECOND EDITION
Have you ever wanted to read someone else’s diary?
Would you like to experience travelling in Asia without leaving home?
Then this book is for you. Fred’s Diary 1981 is a fascinating insight into a young man’s travels around Asia in the early 1980’s. This is a unique opportunity to delve into Fred's daily diary, which details the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia. Follow Fred throughout his extensive travels to Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal.
Appreciate the many friendships formed along the way with fellow-travellers.
Relive the highs and lows that he experienced during this fascinating journey.
Recognise the huge differences in technology, particularly communications.
Become immersed in the different cultures, peoples and surroundings of Asia in the early 1980's.
Understand more about the drug culture of the 1980's, especially in Thailand and Nepal.
Learn from Fred's youthful mistakes, especially if your dream of travelling to Asia becomes a reality.
The price of Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asia has been dropped to £1.99 / $2.99
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Get your copy while this offer lasts:
You can find out more about author Robert Fear on
Meet the Author page:
Come back next week when we publish another original segment
"Behind The Scenes"
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