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Writing, Traveling, Making Notes

Traveling is good for writing. I find myself meeting different people, sketching out the interesting ones in my notebook.

I have a pair of old, smiling, bald gentlemen staying on my floor, who keep nodding all the time. They’re brothers, if not twins. And they love iPhones, they bought them for their grandkids and then liked the things so much they bought a pair for themselves. They like to talk.

There’s a very stylish gay couple, two women, both with short hair. One is a bit grim, blonde. She likes looking at every single thing on the buffet before picking on one or two, like a graceful crane. The other, big ear rings, always in black, magenta streaks in her hair, piles everything on her plate. Wonder where she puts it, because the rest of her is as thin and pointy as her nose and chin. They hold hands as they smoke on the patio, the two old birds, and smile into each other’s eyes.

There’s a strange French couple, the girl, blonde, always giggling and tucking her hair between her ears, and her man, a sort of moor with folds in his neck, a punched-in face, stiff smile, half a dozen thick silver and gold bracelets on both wrists, and a watch that could double as a self-defense weapon. They are forever kissing and touching, photographing each other, and I suspect, laughing at the people around them.

There are all manner of folk on the club floor who come out for cocktails plumed like exotic birds, and feast on the dozen different kinds of cheese laid out and the free-flowing wine. The ladies flick their jeweled fingers at the waitresses, and do not look them in the eye.

In the mornings though, like now after breakfast, the lounge is empty. I am its only inhabitant, other than the receptionist who clatters away at her computer. After two days of relentless gray haze, the sky has cleared up today, and I can finally see the Victoria Bay much better than before, streaks of white trailing boats big and small. The buildings on the opposite bank are no longer disembodied signages, but tall, imposing columns dotted with windows. And I can finally see the outlines of the hills behind them.

Think I shall go for a walk, notebook and camera in hand. And then meet an awesome writer this afternoon. Should be fun.

Happy writing, people!

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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One Comment

  • foxandmaus says:

    Oh, what a great opportunity! I love travel just for the reason you speak of: People Watching.

    Your mention of the receptionist got me thinking about the strange trade off that you get with writing. When I've had jobs that provided the most time to sit and just write for long swathes of time, I've felt like I didn't have much to write about. More confined than anything else. Cut off from the experiences I wanted to write about. Then… when I've been out and about and going 100 miles per hour for weeks on end, I feel like I have no time for writing and it all seems to leak away before I can get it down on paper. Drives me nuts!

    Travel, however… that's a different story. If you are doing solo traveling or going with someone who doesn't need the constant attention that say, two children under the age of five do, then it's the perfect combination.

    Enjoy and enjoy and enjoy.

    -Turkish Prawn

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