Wednesday, 30 March 2016

#RPBP "Mad Dash Across India" Behind The Scenes With Robert Fear as he #TravelsInAsia @fredsdiary1981 @sarahjanewrites @mdaly_margaret #ASMSG #Bookboost #memoir

Thank you for joining us as we go behind the scenes of 

with the Tenth and final 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
"Mad dash across India"

Mad dash across India
After a couple of frantic telegrams, Rita finally confirmed that she was coming to India. Luckily there was still time for me to get from Darjeeling in the east of the country across to Bombay in the west.

The mad dash across India didn’t start too well. I was with two fellow-travellers, Gayle and Irene, who I had met staying at the youth hostel in Darjeeling. Gayle and I had to delay the bus for a few minutes so that Irene didn’t miss it. Eventually we were all aboard and were soon on our way

After a while we made a brief stop and almost missed the bus again. The conductor came looking for us as they’d driven about 200 metres down the road before realising we weren’t there. Apart from that it was a good journey.

We were soon descending from the mountains back down to the plains. Upon arriving in New Jalpaiguri we were only able to get places on the waiting list for a train departing at 1pm in the morning for Mughal Sarai, which is about ten kilometres from Varanasi.
The train was absolutely packed and although managing to get on board we didn’t get much sleep during the fifteen hour journey. As we couldn’t get tickets straight away for the next section of the journey, we firstly spent a night in the Retiring Rooms at the station and then two nights in Varanasi.

The last section of the journey took another thirty hours on the train but I got to Bombay with a few hours to spare before Rita is due to arrive early tomorrow morning. I have secured a hotel room for us and have just been having a brief rest before heading out to the airport.
My mind is full of doubts about how our time together here in India will work out. We have had a pretty tumultuous relationship over the last couple of years and I keep asking myself why on earth I invited her here. I can only put it down to the sense of loneliness I was feeling during those first few days in India, after the trauma of my Thailand experience.
Rita and I first met on the Spanish island of Ibitha, where I had been working in a bar and she was on holiday. We got on really well together and she invited me to come and stay with her in Germany when the summer season was over.
We lived together on the top floor of her parent’s house in a small village in the Taunus hills near Frankfurt. I got some work, initially on a building site and then in a Coca Cola factory. Although we got on well most of the time the relationship became strained and was made worse when I decided to head off travelling to the States and Canada. I was away for four months.

Upon my return I got a job as a messenger in a bank in Frankfurt and stayed in a flat close by. Rita and I were still seeing each other on and off but I was more interested in living the high life in the bars of Sachsenhausen, the entertainment area of Frankfurt.

Before I left on this trip we were still meeting up now and then but a lot of the initial feelings we had for each other had evaporated. Or at least that’s the way I saw it! I do feel guilty about the way that I treated her sometimes and just hope that our time together in India will work out for the best.

Meeting up with Rita
I eventually found the little Lufthansa office. Inside were four officials, very German looking Indians. The guy who aided me was extremely helpful informing me proudly that the flight had only been delayed by half an hour and that Rita was on board.
Now that I knew for definite she was coming I started to get a little nervous, hoping that things would go alright. Back in the departure lounge at 3 a.m. I bought a magazine called India Today and sat reading. However, the seats were uncomfortable and eventually I moved into the plush restaurant where I sat in comfort until nearly 5 a.m.

I was constantly watching the arrivals screen for any news of flight LH694 arriving from Frankfurt and continuing to Singapore and Jakarta. Had some drinks, a coke and two coffees along with a snack of masala hamburger and Russian salad sandwiches, which took the edge off my munchies.

By this time I was feeling tired, the effects of the smoke and headache tablets having worn off. I paced up and down the Viewing Gallery smoking cigarette after cigarette.

At 5:45 a.m. after having heard instructions for people to check in for the onward flight to Jakarta I went up to the Spectator’s Gallery and five minutes later saw the Lufthansa 747 landing.

© Thomas Noack 

Back in the Viewing Gallery I waited another half an hour or so before seeing Rita, although she didn’t see me.

Ten minutes later she got her bag so I went downstairs to meet her after coming through customs. We met up and for the first half an hour or so were both quite distant and business like. I took her up to the bank where she changed US$50.

Her flight had cost DM1800 return which was reasonable, especially considering it was Lufthansa. The return flight goes on the 26th July at 1:20 a.m. so we’ll have a month together, unless anything goes drastically wrong of course.

Did you miss the past segments of 

Behind The Scenes?

Fascinating time capsule from the 80’s

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.

You can find out more about author Robert Fear on 
Rukia Publishing's 
Meet the Author page:
Take a look a Roberts Competition!!!!

Come back next week when we publish another original segment 
"Behind The Scenes"

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Margaret Daly and the rest of the Rukia Publishing team for your fantastic support throughout the publishing of this ten part series. I trust that readers have found the fresh insights and extracts from my diary interesting.