Writing and Travel

Eighteen different kinds of feta in one supermarket....or were they feta?
Eighteen different kinds of feta in one supermarket....or were they feta?

'Laura made up her mind when Hester's money ran out: to dig in, stay. The galleries were full of pictures; when she dares, she was looking at them one by one. Perhaps the point was to stay away.'


I am reading Michelle de Kretser's 'Questions of Travel' which I bought just before leaving on this trip. Given her background of working with Lonely Planet she bring a wealth of experience to writing this book. I identified with the above quote as for the first time, I feel like staying away - for a while at any rate. I have no job to return to and I can write anywhere. Her continual use of metaphor (she writes like a poet) turns my eyes into recording events as one day of adventure merges into the next so that incidents become vignettes in my mind and I repeat the thought out loud in order to capture it before it is replaced by another equally arresting thought. A man with a Scorpion tattooed on his chest lying staked out in the sun in a way we wouldn't see in Australia, the two children on the tank of a motorbike with their father's strong arms around them, their hair picked up in the breeze and danger at every corner. de Kretser writes, 'Incidents, scenes, reflections...were the et cetera of travel: intractable matter, material that couldn't be moulded into the shapely narratives Laura (her heroine) produced.'


Yet she has produced a book full of these kind of vignettes as though she has been saving them in her clutchbag of memories for a book such as this. 

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