Tuesday October 28, 2014
from the side of a tper bus
Megan and I are walking in the maze-like markets of Marrakech. “Hannah Montana!” “Blue eyes!” “Blue eyes Hannah Montana!” They shout. Men, shopkeepers. Eyes follow us like, glued. We are followed by three teenage boys, and a man in his sixties who, in broken English, invites us for mint tea, repeatedly. We wear loose-fitting clothing and are covered up to our necks. We speak quietly and try not to draw unnecessary attention to ourselves. We seek refuge in our hostel room, breathless, dizzy from getting lost. We buzz with all that is unknown here. We buzz in our bodies, the magnets, the prisons, the homes.
Wednesday April 9, 2014
said by the streetcar conductor
In Essaouira, we met a Parisian man named Francois. I wish I could show you his picture. He looked French, he sounded French, everything about him felt French. He was a screenwriter, on a working vacation, trying to finish a script. He rolled his own cigarettes. We stayed in a small hotel, in a room with french doors on the second floor. Francois was on the ground floor, just around the corner from the dining room. He was desperately attracted to the friend I was travelling with, but he liked my spunky sense of humour. I could tell. In that French way, he quietly respected each of us, her, with her otherworldly beauty, and me, with my wide smile and my jokes. When he ran out of tobacco, he asked if we wanted to accompany him on a walk into the main square. We did. In the blur of steamed trolleys and donkeys and brightly coloured carpets, the three of us help hands like pre-schoolers, and laughed as women clucked and men gave Francois high-fives.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Kinfolk, Volume Nine
Once they were called “raindrops”
Nell and Jemima
Sliding down window panes
Smiles spread like mustard on a crusty bun
Once they found a man in a bar in Istanbul
Learned the names of his children
Took him back to their hostel
And took turns kissing his scars
Once they snacked on fresh almonds in Jerusalem
Counting their money on their bellies on the beach
Nell and Jemima
Promised never to marry
They were betrothed to the map in the back pocket of their jean shorts
They were faithful only to the train tracks and the stamps on their passports
Once they found a kitten on the street in Venice
Nell hid him in her raincoat and they carried him all the way to Nice
They found him a home there
With a woman who sang to her statue of the Virgin Mary
Friday, March 15, 2013 at Saving Gigi
Course you want to fly away and visit your ancestors. Trust me babe, I get it. Everyone needs to get away sometime. They all say…ahem…we all say we need to leave this city and just go find ourselves. Why would we say that if we didn’t need it, truly. You know? But you leaving for a whole year, backpack or no backpack…is it the best idea? Will you actually be visiting your ancestors? Or will you just fly to the neighbouring country with a bunch of young hostel-stayers from Australia and take photos of you all wearing head wraps and smoking from a hookah pipe? None of which would be bad, by the way, but if we could all just be honest about what we expect out of these trips…or what the purpose is, you know, then it might just be a bit better. I mean, here, I wouldn’t say I’m going to France to visit the art. That would be maybe like, I don’t know, 2 percent of my entire trip. The rest would be shopping, and touring, and have I fully connected with myself?
Babe, no, I’m on your side. I’m not saying you can’t also find yourself while shopping, but just, hey, let’s be a bit real. And like, if we’re being real, then maybe we can assess if we really need to be gone for a whole freaking year. By we I mean you. Yes.I know this has nothing to do with me. This trip. It doesn’t.