Travel Memoir – Published


 

Has Anyone Seen My Elephant? and other tales from a traveler’s diary
By Gerald and Patricia Heggen

A travel memoir book filled with amusing stories, adventures, laughs, and more! Available on Amazon – click here to purchase!

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My grandparents traveled the world together for over 40 years. On a very tight budget, they went on one to two trips a year starting in 1971. From Europe, to Asia to South America, they saw everything they could, meet interesting people along the way, and recorded their stories in this book.

Growing up, I have fond memories of gathering in my grandparents living room every other summer to watch the latest slide show of pictures from their recent travels. I sat on the floor and stared in wonder at the photos, listening to my grandparent’s tales and explanations of each photo. My grandparents influenced me more than ever to travel, and I have! Read the book to inspire your travels!

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An excerpt from the book:

Chapter: 1994 – India – Story within the chapter:

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Land of the Monkey

Former maharajah palace accommodations are now history. The Methodist Mission House here in Bombay is home for tonight. Lodging is spartan as the name of the place suggests. But we have a fellow guest who adds a bit of class. Alan Alda is a guest here. He is working on a film. Bombay is truly the film capital of the world-not our Hollywood. Although the city is not lacking in five star hotels, Alan Alda chose the Mission House. Tomorrow we catch the 7:00 AM train to our mission duty at Miraj.

Our reserved seats are in the air conditioned first class car but we find that car has a “Bad Order” label on the side. This meant the car is being removed from the train. We will be riding in the company of India’s common folk-a good introduction into our life style for the next few months.

This train serves every town and village. So we will be 12 hours en route. Every station stop attracts hundreds of people. Platforms are so dense with humanity, one questions how that many can board the train. Among the crowd are food vendors hawking eats, which have tempting aromas. We have been told this food is prepared in homes under poor hygienic conditions and we must resist eating them. Fruit is plentiful so that will be our fare for the day.

We are pulling into a station and are surprised to find the platform deserted – no passengers, no vendors, no railway employees with the exception of one coming through the cars calling out “monkeys-monkeys.” Suddenly hundreds of migrating monkeys are everywhere. Train cars, which are not air-conditioned, have steel bars over the windows. Now we know why. Since the animals have long arms, we are ordered to not sit close to the window and hang on to any items within their reach. Many have offspring clinging to them. This variety does not appear to be an endangered species.

The frenzy ended as quickly as it began. The throng taking refuge in the station is pouring onto the platform. Normal station activity is taking place. The stationmaster waves the green flag. The train moves on!

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To read the entire book, purchase on Amazon by clicking here.

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