Posted 20 hours ago

Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure

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This was a book that took me to many amazing places around the world and helped to (briefly) satisfy my constant desire to travel. For the past month, I've alternated between the unproductive wallowing in regret of not having taken a certain volunteer trip in the past and the equally unproductive daydreaming of my next travel location. The journey is one of constant movement and mayhem, as the pair strike up friendships and swap stories with the hilarious, irksome and ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth's most breathtaking views. They have heard bad things, which seem to be confirmedwhen, on the train from Riga to Moscow, they are the only passengers subjected to a prolonged and slightly rough check of their cabin and luggage – they are also the only brown people on the train. Some chapters were good, I did enjoy reading about Japan for example but I was still hoping to get more train facts, considering it’s about train travel.

Although observing that “most people drawn to the Amtrak trains were unhinged to varying degrees”, she concludes “Americans who have never ridden on their railways have no idea what they are missing. I was often afraid that I'd lose the will to continue reading it till the end but I managed to wrap this up in a week's time.WINNER OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOK SHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD ‘Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. It's fascinating to see so many different cultures that the world has embraced and this book is proof enough that there are wonders in every place that we visit. In some of the countries, she goes into a lot of detail, highlighting the political situation in Tibet or expanding on newsworthy stories to add depth to the narrative. For more details, please consult the latest information provided by Royal Mail's International Incident Bulletin. I like Monisha’s witty writing style, which gives the book a fun and laid back feel to it and differentiates it from the usual guide books and serious travel books.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.Publication dates are subject to change (although this is an extremely uncommon occurrence overall). I started looking up her references for a musical background to my reading and also some of the places that struck my fancy. She stood next to the door holding it open as passengers exited the train, and bowed as each one deposited their litter. This is a woman who poured her heart and soul in the book, her thoughts are there, good or bad, very realistic, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, sometimes sad, but in overal a great book. She has written for the London Evening Standard, The Guardian, TIME magazine and The New York Times.

Locked up inside an apartment in the urban sprawl of Mumbai in the middle of a pandemic, Monisha's book was nothing short of a lifeline, much like it's star character. Perhaps because these were the problems she anticipated, having experienced them before, she is prepared for stuff like not being able to wash several days in a row. The temperature was pushing forty degrees…Few exercises were as excruciating as sitting in silence, watching a rejected ice cream melting. Part of the reason for travelling by train is that there is more opportunity to interact with the people around you, something that you don’t get travelling by car or even in a bus and I’m beginning to think that this is the way to travel.

The cities she visits are also described as a person talking to a friend and not as a Lonely Planet guide (thought she did mention it but in a good way). To make it a little less impersonally ghoulish, before the whole undertaking, Rajesh interviewed a British former prisoner of war who had been transported from prison in Singapore to help build the notorious railway.

It would have given some interesting structure to a what was essentially a diary, made up of recollections. WINNER OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOKSHORTLISTED FOR THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD'Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. It wasn't easy to get into at first, as she tended to skip around a bit, it wasn't exactly sequential, but once you get used to her style, it is really interesting and becomes a page-turner.

However, one thing I constantly disliked is that Rajesh choose to travel almost entirely in third class or the equivalent thereof, and I got bored reading about how disgusting each of these train cars and especially the restrooms were. I was always fascinated to find out more about other countries and cultures and this book gave me a window into some of the most amazing counties around the globe. I would have liked to see more photos at the end of a chapter (not half way through) linked to that part off their travel. You can change your choices at any time by visiting Cookie preferences, as described in the Cookie notice. Rajesh is a whinier, more superficial and judgmental version of Elizabeth Gilbert, whose overrated popular book I found so annoyingly cliche I couldn't even read past the first chapter.

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