Nostalgia for Old Cities

Shot of Bordeaux by Aman Sharma

Shot of Bordeaux by Aman Sharma

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of writer who carries (and scribbles in) a well-thumbed, heavy journal. I wanted a journal so beloved and so ink-heavy that the spine was weathered and wrinkled. Last year, I spent the summer traveling and I thought, “Here’s my chance!”

I bought a notebook. I had a satchel and a hat. I had sunblock and sunglasses. I felt very important. Unfortunately, I am me.

Shattered Romantic Expectation No. 1: I spilled tea on my notebook. The tea wasn’t even presented in a shabby chic teacup, but thrust at me by a disgruntled flight attendant!

Shattered Romantic Expectation No. 2: Whenever I tried to write, I morphed into a giant. I have no idea how these travel savvy writers find the space to set a journal on something and start writing. Inevitably, my elbows feel cramped. I’m stuck contorting like a Cirque-du-Soleil extra on a park bench with my neck bent and my back hunched.

Shattered Romantic Expectation No. 3: My purse is full of dead pens. I’m not sure why. All my bags are mausoleums for chewed down writing instruments. Thus, even when I found the time, space and inclination to write, I was still useless. Sigh.

So, I wrote on my phone. I probably looked like any other young-ish humanoid texting furiously on my phone. (Alas! The struggle of failing to look like a struggling authoress!)

All in all, this wasn’t a bad decision. Snapping a picture and immediately returning to my Notes app made recollections feel fresh. I didn’t have to worry about racing to a coffee shop or abandoned arm-chair and hauling out a notebook. I wrote what I saw. No pondering over the words or the feel of the pen. Just a gut reaction.

Since The Boy is on his travels, I felt nostalgic and decided to go through old pictures and old recollections.

Here is some of what I saw and what I felt:

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey

“A witch in a samovar, a crescent of apricots, a bazaar of abandoned memories”

English countryside

English countryside

“Honey burnt, ivy-spidered, petrichor and roses”

Barcelona

Barcelona

“And they turned their faces one by one.”

What do you do when you travel? Write down your recollections? Ponder over them later?

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