Take A Trip into Asia with "Fred's Diary 1981"
Travel Thursdays first excerpt from "Fred's Diary 1981"
First Impressions of Hong Kong
I was soon outside and got my first taste of the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. Waited twenty minutes for a 201 bus to take me to Kowloon and sat dazed in the bus trying to take in the many sights amid the clamour of Chinese conversation, which to say the least is pretty loud.
After a ride of half an hour I got off the bus in Kowloon and within twenty minutes, with the help of a young Chinese woman, had located Chungking Mansions, a collection of supposedly cheap guest houses.
Eventually found a room free in one run by an old woman for HK$40. I tried knocking the price down for a longer stay but she wouldn't consider it. Being tired I decided to take it for one night and look around tomorrow for alternatives.
Got into the room and tried to get some rest. I got a couple of hours sleep disturbed by a TV being played loud in the next room. One thing I'm going to have to get used to here is noise. It is now 8:30 p.m. and I am going to go out in search of something to eat and drink.
I returned to the room just before midnight after a fascinating if bewildering wander around different parts of Kowloon. Lots of bright lights, scores of different shops and stalls, amazing contrasts between rich and poor, the swish tourist hotels near the waterfront compared with the slums and beggars in the backstreets.
Saw a few western faces but not many. Had a meal in McDonalds of all places as I couldn't pluck up courage to go into one of the Chinese restaurants. Feeling a bit lost and far from home but hopefully that will soon pass.
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Customer Review from Amazon
5 out of 5 stars Fred’s Diary
By BookReader on August 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fred’s Diary is just that, a diary. This book is a compilation of the daily writings of Robert Fear describing his travels through Asia, his personal experiences, thoughts, and growth.
It will take you a while to get into the cadence of the work. It is a daily diary, some days extremely monotonous, others documenting fascinating events. Just like life. Some entries are explicit in description of interesting places, others are a simple indication of having gone somewhere, visited a city, or taken a ferry. Personally, I’d have appreciated more description of these excursions. For example, the author mentions a visit to the Taj Mahal … a place that would merit a poetic description. But, this isn’t the intent of Fred’s Diary, it is not a novel … but simply a non-fiction journal of events. A most interesting part, for me at least, describes Fear's experiences following arrest and imprisonment for a drug bust in Thailand. The uncertainty, bribery temptation, surprising availability of drugs while in this prison, fairly liberal visitation permissions, etc., … are all educational. The story will bring forth some dèja vu regarding late 70s and early 80s technology, a fun walk down memory lane. For example, the Sony Walkman was a big thing, and there is no cell phone, and people still wrote letters - not emails.
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