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Robert Baldwin was born in Melbourne in 1948, the son of a successful horse trainer. He dropped out of secondary school at age seventeen, and without qualifications or direction in life worked a number of lackluster jobs with little success before his conscription into the Australian army in 1968. During that time, he served a year in South Vietnam, which gave him his first introduction to Asia and led to a fascination with Asian culture in later years. Following his discharge from the army, he took advantage of their resettlement scheme and returned to full time study, where at the age of twenty three he sat in a class of seventeen year olds and successfully completed his secondary education. He studied part time at universities for ten years and gained three degrees including a Master of Arts from the University of Notre Dame Australia. After early departure from the work force because of health matters followed by the failure of his marriage, his travels around Asia began in earnest culminating in the publication of this work. He now lives in the north of Thailand, where he feels more at home than in his native Australia. He has always wanted to write and this, his first book, represents the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition. He has plans to write more books.