Saturday, 20 January 2018

Transit Lounge - Book Review

I love travel writing. It gives the immense pleasure of visiting the most wonderful places in the world. No wonders an arm chair traveller like me lapped up the book Transit Lounge. It documents the travel experiences of the author across thirty countries. This book is his personal account of travels to places in Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Mauritius), South America (Venezuela and Argenina), Asia (China, Iran, Kuwait, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand), Europe (UK, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Belguim, Georgia, Turkey, Croatia and Romania), USA, Australia and New Zealand.

The write ups are small. Neither too long to bore you, nor too short to leave you high and dry. The book is full of nuggets of the authors experiences. The author tells us how in Ghana the funeral is actually a sendoff ceremony rather than a mark of sorrow and grief. The writer is quiet in awe about motor cycle taxis in Africa. He seems to be unaware that in the tiny state of Goa these motor cycle taxis are a ubiquitous affair. Speaking of the middle east countries he says that Most of the times we do not realize that the world knows these countries from the lens of the western media which is not very kind to them. He says the family bondage in the small towns in US is as good as in any middle class family in India. London tubes he says need substantive investment to be called anywhere modern. London is a city of walkers, it has a widespread city transport too which helps people move around easily. His experience of checking into an unmanned Western Europe hotel is both harrowing and intriguing.

The author tells us how the imported goods, that were most sought after a few days ago, have lost their sheen. Denmark he says is the most prosperous nations in the northern Europe, where some people commute every day to work by flight. European cities are very tourist friendly he says. The common saying in Singapore he says is -irrespective of the economic status, everyone has a house, mostly built by government.

He bursts the bubble of prosperity by keeping the immigrant’s life stark naked in front our lives.

The book though very well written is ridden with mistakes. These typographical errors play a spoil sport. So incident becomes inddent, civic becomes dvic, class becomes dass and the crest jewel – click becomes dick. I wish the book was well edited and these mistakes were avoided. Yet I loved the book. It didn’t disappoint me.

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