|About the Book|
Chartered Territory is an unusually diverse collection of both travel- and career-related anecdotes drawn from a period of sixteen years employed as a civil and structural engineer abroad. The book charts a personal and professional journey in whichMoreChartered Territory is an unusually diverse collection of both travel- and career-related anecdotes drawn from a period of sixteen years employed as a civil and structural engineer abroad. The book charts a personal and professional journey in which the author, a twenty-six year old Nottingham Polytechnic graduate, embarks upon a host of adventures- from a baptism-of-fire position in Nigeria, drifting far eastward to salaryman forbearance in Tokyo, surviving the arduousness of India and eventual residency in Hong Kong. Offering more than a seasoned travelogue, accounts stem from the unique, and somewhat deeper, perspective of long-term residency- typically, enduring a Nigerian coup d’état, an ascent of Mount Fuji, press-ganging by a Chinese dragon boat team, competing in Oxfam Trailwalker (an arduous charity event), witnessing the handover of Hong Kong to China and a chilling encounter with the SARS virus at the epicentre of the outbreak itself.Throughout the book a cultural awakening sees the author grappling and eventually assimilating to the job-related nuances of third-world life, Japanese conformity, not to mention linguistic difficulties amidst the sights, sounds and smells of Southeast Asia. Additionally, Vietnam, China, Laos and the Kingdom of Bhutan provide the backdrop to more conventional, non-work- related, travel essays. In fact, the concluding chapter fittingly relates a journey undertaken aboard a French container ship from Hong Kong to England. A mode of transport which, recent volcanic predicament and ailing airlines considered, may, for the less-hurried, present an obvious alternative to flying.From a purely professional perspective, sections of the narrative are slanted (but not so patent as to deter readers from alternative backgrounds) in a way which may offer inspiration to the student, gap-year traveller or young professional seeking opportunity, by way of adventure and exploration, abroad- as did the author in the wake of graduation. Consequently, readers needn’t be technically minded, instead of shear stress or seismic design theory, content is generally restricted to the lifestyle inherent in any overseas posting – the emphasis very much on cultural anomalies and humour- Boy’s-Own-style exploits interwoven, where relevant, with local colour and history.