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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Author Interview : Anjaly Thomas, author of 'There are No Gods in North Korea' (Part 1)

Anjaly Thomas
Read up, the Interview with Anjaly Thomas, author of 'There are No Gods in North Korea'.  In this she tells us how she manages to travel across different countries, how she ends up planning the whole trip, and also how the travelling changed her view of the world or not and what inspired her to start writing, and how she manages to travel across the various countries. Of course, there is more to this and you can read it all in Part 2, next week, Folks... 

Which was your favourite country in this book for travelling and why?

To be honest, I have no favourites, because each of these countries that I have mentioned in the book has contributed immensely to the richness of the content. 

If I have to be specific, I’d give Mongolia a tick because it was the immediate next place I went to within hours of returning from North Korea.

The difference in the two countries was so much that Mongolia left a lasting impression on me. But of course, North Korea was definitely an experience that cannot be quantified and no emotions or words would justice to the nature of visit, so that will always remain as the most ‘unique’ experience ever.

Which was your favourite city and food during the travel in this book?

Again, pardon me for not having a ‘favourite’ city or place or food. I don’t see it that way. I love every place I go or every experience I have.

I can tell you what food I did not like – it was kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish – but that is essentially because I do not like cabbage in any form.

How do you note the points, which you have in your book? Do you come back and write them down or are there any other ways?

There is something I believe in. What the mind cannot remember, it not worth remembering! Yes, I do take pictures because, let’s face it, my mind is not a super computer to remember everything – occasionally I take notes as well.

But when I am writing, I easily relive every moment (helped along with pictures and notes!) and then it becomes easy to write. Also, what I write are facts, the reality as it happened, and I believe that you don’t easily forget real experiences.

How did you manage to travel to the various places in this book? How was the whole thing planned?

Uganda (Wikimedia)
Some of it was planned, like North Korea and some were not, like Uganda or Kenya because I travel to these places often. While I am not always in favour of planning to the T, it helps organise oneself as well.

For North Korea, there was no choice, really because there was an itinerary that I had to follow – no questions asked.

In what way has this particular travel experience changed your view of the world?

At the cost of sounding arrogant or pompous, I’d like to say that it travelling has NOT changed my view of the world, instead it has reconfirmed my belief that the whole world is one. 

That every one of us have the same need, same pain, same love. 

Every new travel has shown me evidences of this. I travel not just to see the unfamiliar, but also to seek the familiar. I am sure I’d be terribly shaken if I landed in a place in which human beings didn’t behave like one!

Huckleberry Finn (Wikipedia)
What inspired you to start writing? Was the experience fun and does it come in the way of travelling, sometimes?

I have been writing since I was a child – first in notebooks, then later on as blogs. I love writing and of course, reading.

I think it was the sense of adventure that I experienced in the pages of Huckleberry Finn or Nancy Drew that set me off to experience a world of my own. Then I decided to make those experience last forever. It is said that a written word is forever – so I am trying to do just that!

Gobi Desert : Wikipedia
On these travels what was the best and worst methods of transport you’ve experienced? Why?

There are no best and worst methods of traveling. You travel in what you can and how you can and what is best suited to the given place. It would be wrong to land up in the Gobi Desert and expect to drive through in a BMW sports car.

At the same time it would be stupid to say I’d cycle from Dubai to Port Moresby, just because I like it! I haven’t experienced a ‘worst kind of transport’ – what I have experienced is transport of different kinds.

You can Read the Review here and Buy the Book  here, as well

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