My Channel NewsAsia Interview: Travel Writing in Tiong Bahru, Singapore
By Dave Fox
[If you just want to watch the video, please scroll to the end of this article.]
Three guys followed me around for several hours on Monday, poking a video camera in my face, which would have been creepy, except that they asked in advance if they could do this, and I said yes.
They were shooting a segment for Channel NewsAsia about what travel writers do.
I ironed a shirt for the interview, which, actually, is not at all what I do when I am working as a travel writer.
When I am working as a travel writer, I am either living out of a backpack and staying in places that are not classy enough to have irons in the rooms, or I am typing up articles in my home office in Singapore, usually in my boxer shorts.
Or if the weather is nice, I might go work on my balcony, in which case I do put on additional clothing because my neighbors might see me; however, I still don’t iron my shirts because I am hanging on the hope that my neighbors’ eyesight is not very good.
But this was Channel NewsAsia, which is a pretty big deal. Channel NewsAsia is a 24-hour news network with coverage in 25 countries and territories in Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific. They are seen in a few places you might have heard of before, such as throughout China, India, and Australia – each of which, according to recent census reports, has more than a 723 citizens. So chances are a few people will see me when the segment airs on Friday.
I don’t normally get nervous before interviews, because most of the interviews I do are not on international TV news networks that Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj (who, as you already knew, is the president of Mongolia) could be watching.
But as Steve Lai – who is not the president of Mongolia; he anchors the primetime morning show on Channel NewsAsia – asked me my first question, all I could think was, “Holy crap! What if President Elbegdorj is watching?!?!”
This caused me to give a rambling and long-winded answer, which we had to redo. I’m not sure the second time was much better, but we had to move on.
Next we went to a parking lot so I could talk about the history of Tiong Bahru, the neighborhood we were in. Parking lots are not where I normally go to report on history; however this particular parking lot was historically significant because it is one of the tallest public structures in the neighborhood, so I was able to point at stuff.
Then, we went to eat some bread.
So, yes, I am going to be eating bread on international television this Friday. Or more accurately, holding bread that I am about to eat. I never actually bite into the bread on camera. You might get to see me taking a sip of lime juice, but maybe not. I am going to keep you in suspense on that one, because that is the kind of megalomaniac international media coverage has turned me into.
Anyway, I am very excited about seeing the report when it airs Friday morning – mainly because Steve Lai is not only a super nice guy; he is also a rabid overachiever who intends to cram the life of a travel writer, the history of Tiong Bahru, and bread that is laced with traditional Chinese medicine, all into a five or six minute segment.
Watch the Interview
Here’s the story! If you’d like to become a travel writer yourself, I can teach you how! Check out my super fun, wildly informative online travel writing classes!