When the road calls

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Poxpoints, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. Poxpoints

    Poxpoints The King of Potatoes

    Hey everyone here, I've started to write a novel and will release a paragraph every 3 days or so on steemit, but will repost them here as well as I think some of you might enjoy it. Here is the direct link if you prefer to read it on steemit yourself: https://steemit.com/travel/@martibis/when-the-road-calls-1

    What and why?

    I have decided to write a novel about the life of a traveler in the 21st century. The novel will not only follow the travel itself, but more so look to what pushed the protagonist to travel and how he's struggling to fit back into society afterwards. I've been telling myself to write more on this novel for some time, but never quite get around to it. In a way I hope this will give myself more motivation to keep writing.

    I'll post a paragraph weekly (I know, it's not a lot, but you've got to start somewhere), if it gets more traction I'll try to take more time to focus on writing more for you guys. As my novel is titled "When the road calls", each weekly post will be titled "When the road calls" followed by the paragraph #, that way rereading should be easier for all of you.

    EDIT: some people have been asking me to post paragraphs more frequently than once a week. I'll try to post more often, but as I'm fairly busy in real life too and want to post quality content, I can not make any promises on this part!

    I'm very much looking for constructive feedback (both positive and negative) as English isn't my native language and feedback is the only way I can grow as a writer.

    Paragraph #1

    “Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Brussels airport.”

    Relief, fear, disappointment, excitement, hope, worry, and much more, it all starts to collide in my head.

    “Local time is 7:30 AM and the temperature is 8 degrees Celsius.”

    Belgium indeed. After one year of traveling I was back home. Back to a life I never felt was mine. Back to friends I slowly lost contact with. Most importantly perhaps back to start a new chapter in life, a chapter where I want to find a way to be happy as a functioning part of society.

    “On behalf of Condor Airlines and the entire crew, I’d like to thank you for joining us.”

    Oh, how my teenage me would have despised that thought.

    “See you soon and have a nice day.”

    Everyone starts to exit the plane, in a rush to get to wherever they are going, to see a loved one perhaps? Eventually I leave my seat as well. While exiting I give a slight absent-minded nod and smile to the stewardess at the aircraft’s door. One last glance at the plane. Back in Belgium, I still don't quite believe it.

    Slowly I make my way to the baggage carousel. There is no rush, I have nowhere to be. My headphones are on and between Bill Withers' "Ain't no sunshine" and Bazart's "Chaos" I hear a woman complaining in Dutch to her presumed partner about how I’m blocking her line of sight on the carousel. She must’ve thought I was Costa Rican, considering my black hair, brown eyes and tanned skin in correlation with the plane we got out of. I turn around and politely tell her that she could just ask me and I would gladly make some room for her. Embarrassed, she mumbles an excuse and moves away.

    Sigh, back in Belgium again.

    After a minute my patched-up bag arrives on the carousel I grab it and head for the exit of the airport.
    Geressen likes this.
  2. Geressen

    Geressen Forum Royalty

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  3. Poxpoints

    Poxpoints The King of Potatoes

    I don't know this book; is it similar to what I'm writing in a way?
  4. Geressen

    Geressen Forum Royalty

    Poxpoints likes this.
  5. Geressen

    Geressen Forum Royalty

    I have read the thing and I have questions;

    If the woman was speaking Dutch and not Flemish why didn't she fly to Amsterdam Schiphol airport. possibly Eindhoven or one of the other smaller airports for budget airlines. or are the Belgians finally admitting that Flemish is not a real language?

    The protagonist seems unlikeable, depending on the tone the woman could be deflecting a question from the S/O about seeing the luggage or telling him to look for it. presumably the protagonist is not standing at the baggage claim for no reason and the woman did not ask him to move in any language nor did she shove him. perhaps both the protagonist and the woman are a bit testy from the flight but at least the woman doesn't aim her annoyance at strangers. was this intentional?

    the protagonist would be justified if the words the woman used contained insinuations that it was somehow the fault of the man in front her but I did not find this clear fro the current wording.

    Looking forward for more.

    EDIT ! Wait a second.... If he had earphones in he couldn't have heard the context of the womans complaint. and if the woman made asumptions about him because of his "brown eyes" his back Must have been turned to the carousel!

    afterall if the woman couldnt see the carousel because she was looking at the protagonist's back how could she know about his eye colour?
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  6. Hiyashi

    Hiyashi I need me some PIE!

    That is actually quite easy to explain. If you pay closer attention to the written text you'll realize that the complaint was heard between two songs. If you happened to know both of those songs you'd also know that "Ain't No Sunshine" has a rather quiet outro while "Chaos" has a somewhat quiet intro. He could have easily picked up a handful of words while the transition from one song to the other was happening. You should also consider that the protagonist is a young traveler. It's likely that he's poor and can't afford current technology. For all we know he's using an old iPod Shuffle that he found near a trash can in Malaysia. These things take forever to load up the next song, making it easier to pick up on conversations in between.

    That also is a false assumption. If you put "airport carousel" into the google picture search you'll quickly realize that all those pictures have one thing in common: Shiny metal surfaces! Clearly the woman must have seen the reflection of the eyes of the protagonist while shuffling around behind him, desperately trying to find her pink Hello Kitty suitcase.

    You see. Your complains are all easily dispelled. However the part where it only took one minute for the protagonists baggage to arrive is completely unbelievable. That sentence took my immersion and threw it into the trash bin. It should have been at least 20 minutes of wait time. And that is assuming that the most likely case of "sorry sir, we lost your stuff" did not occur.
  7. Geressen

    Geressen Forum Royalty

    that is the explanation for him HEARING the thing the woman said it is no explanation for HIS behaviour you are misunderstanding what the problem is. he heard the woman complaining to her S/O but not the context in which the complaint was framed. he then acts churlish towards the woman for no apparent reason other than disagreeing that the woman can't see straight through him?

    these surfaces she can't see because protagonist is blocking the way, furthermore they hardly act like mirrors.

    my questions and feedback* and clearly not.

    you forget that he did not rush to the baggage claim but yeah if it took him 20 minutes to get there letting everyone rush ahead and somehow got there before this lady to be able to block her view is weird.
  8. Hiyashi

    Hiyashi I need me some PIE!

    The author wrote that the protagonist was polite towards the woman. You also don't know exactly how the woman complained. Maybe she chose the most beautiful insults to address the man in front of her. Basically there is no reason to believe that the protagonist did anything wrong at this point in the story.

    No matter how fat the protagonist may be, it's unlikely that he'll block 100% of the view for the woman behind him. And while shiny metal surfaces are not the best mirrors, they can be enough to recognize a general color pallet in the reflection.

    I did not forget that. No matter how fast you are you'll eventually bump into the incredibly slow moving lines for the pass control. That evens out walking speed differences. And from the pass control to the baggage carousels it's usually a relatively small distance.
  9. Geressen

    Geressen Forum Royalty

    he spoke politely, he was however not polite.

    counterpoint; neither did the protagonist. however the protagonist stopped minding his own business to bother the woman.

    he asked for feedback not for apologists and cheerleaders.
    according to the internet this is the baggage claim in Brussels

    I find the woman seeing his eyes in the panels when she is supposedly trying to look for her baggage to be reaching.
    Brussels has automated digital passport control for EU passports and Belgian ID cards. how could he have slipped ahead of people who were rushing towards pass control? did he cut the line? did everyone magically gravitate towards one passport check allowing him to take one without people?
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  10. Hiyashi

    Hiyashi I need me some PIE!

    The whole point of my reply was "to be reaching". I thought that was obvious enough by me including the iPod Shuffle theory in it. I thought we were having a fun game of 'Ace Attorney' where we throw increasingly ridiculous claims at each other until one of us gets bored. Seems like that was not the case.
  11. Geressen

    Geressen Forum Royalty

    awww I was trying to be helpfull and give honest criticism for once. my bad.

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