S P A C E || Writing in my head

S P A C E || Writing in my head



‘It’s kind of cliche to say so, but, well, when people saw us going on the world tour, they said, don’t come back like, “I found myself.”‘


‘Both of us are from small towns where no one ever leaves, so yeah. Kind of going to be like that when we get back.’

‘Where have you been so far?’

‘Vietnam for a month, and now we’re here, and then we’ll go to Mondulkiri and then Phnom Penh.’


‘How long have you been traveling for?’



‘I’m not sure I would call it traveling anymore. It’s been five years since I left… Home.’


‘Five years. I read somewhere this cool thing that said, “We overestimate what we can do in one year, but underestimate what we can do in five.”‘


‘And so, I think, when I look at it all, in the aggregate, I have to see it as a picture of changing into something else. Letting go of certain ideas about things. Maybe it’s just getting older. Or that you were traveling before and were so impressionable, you know, meeting this guy or this girl who said this thing, and it just left a mark, and…’

‘Yeah, yeah. When you’re traveling you meet people who are like-minded. I haven’t met anyone on the road I didn’t like. Yet.’

“Oh, I have!’


‘Oh, yeah. I got into like two fights already. I guess I’m a little hard to work with when people say things that are kind of out of context. Like they watch American TV shows on YouTube and pick up the accent by reading subtitles…. More than one person has said this is how she or he got used to American English… Which is sad, and… If P. … And people like P. (hola, P!, I already told you this) could just not do that… Then we would still have lovely accents and I love accents… There was this lecture I went to in Seattle once about people removing accents from immigrants’ way of speaking and what’s really sad is that immigrants themselves sign up for accent reduction classes, well, that! Makes me tired to think about! And this being culturally normalized is part of why… I just can’t… See… And anyway!, there’s more, there’s a lot, and the problem was, you know how when you talk to someone and you can see they aren’t used to reading facial expressions? They talk on the computer? They don’t know how to look at you and they avert their eyes if they can and if they are strong enough to hold your eye they say weird, out of context things? That was happening, and then I just quit talking to people, for a while. But you. You two seem…. Open. Look at this place. Isn’t it pretty?’

‘Yes. I can’t believe how much there is to see out here, In the world.’

‘Believe me. The longer you stay in a place, the more you have to train yourself to see the new in the every day.’

‘That’s well put. Are you a writer or something? What are all those notebooks?’


‘Yeah, they’re notes. I’m writing a new book, about Malaysia. About the people I am meeting and the things they are telling me, here and everywhere. I really want to go back into the old stories now and bring back some of the good stuff, and give it a different context. And then finally print something, like commit to print, for real. That takes…. Well. It takes more than just paper and time editing. It takes being somewhat sure about the words you are sharing, because you are using up someone’s time, and writers’ jobs are to inform, or something, or offer a perspective, and it has to be, you know, tight. And so many people now just write whatever, publish slush, and you can, because… Vanity projects. Ego.’

‘You are a writer, then.’

‘Yeah. But it took me a long time to admit to it.’

*smiling* ‘SO cool.’

1/100. This is the first of a new series of blogs we are writing based on real time real life conversations. It’s called ‘One Hundred Conversations’ and it is underwritten by members of DK’s online community, S P A C E. Join us.

3 thoughts on “S P A C E || Writing in my head

  1. Ah, lovely!
    Good thinking to write down real time conversations. For me I find the value comes later when I go back over content like that and think, oh yeah, that was the point that I realized that thing.
    Happy travels, gang.

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