Me? I'm an Australian writer, and the editor of TravelnRavel. My 'serious writing' blog is here - iancochrane.com.au
But tonight I'm in Doha with a fellow traveler. We've first met in Lagos early 2014, and now sit an airport lounge, whittling away the hours
waiting for flights: me to Korea and Raj to India.
" Your book, I am reading Sir," the sudden admission a surprise with Raj not normally so forthcoming. "It is true you walked across my city of Mumbai Sir?" I nod, and there's a self-conscious cough. "You are being a serious writer Sir, and must be doing the needful to write more on such serious adventures."
I'm not sure about the 'serious' bit, and don't mention my `writing' blog on people and places. I've hundreds of short story drafts too; not to mention the myriad of other stuff that continually ravels and unravels in my crowded head.
Anyway, there I go, off on a tangent as I'm prone to do. Me, a `serious' writer? The fresh-faced Raj would be surprised.
Raj's plane is finally on the tarmac, and he fiddles with a bag of duty free. I'd say he's only 30, a younger FIFO commuting between the oil and gas hub of Nigeria, and his home in India.
He gets lonely in Lagos he says, although sharing digs with 2-others; and he's now bought a parrot, "for the company Sir." I can't help but smile, and there's an indignant grimace. "But Sir, you must be knowing he is very intelligent...an African Grey...the most intelligent of birds Sir."
I wonder at the logic of sharing a small Lagos room with an African parrot called Shiva, when that feathered, beadie-eyed beastie can't be trusted: Raj now forced to wear pink wash-up gloves, savagely bitten when cleaning the cage or offering food.
But that bird really is smart, for even the kind-hearted Raj has bad days, sometimes leaving the cage door open - maybe intentionally - the vicious bird refusing to budge, knowing better than to take on the wilds of downtown Lagos.
Mmm, so...there I go again...my less than 'serious' musings like pushing an errant supermarket shopping trolley that bounces off one wall into the other. Anyway...what to do with all this `non-serious' stuff? Stuff I need to ravel or unravel, and then move on.
So, we're looking at a journal of sorts: An opportunity for international writers, artists and photographers to contribute the historical, the hysterical, the quirky and quixotic... all with heart. We're looking for a wandering bird's eye overview of most things even vaguely related to travel; but not simply about moving from `A' to `B'. Nor is it about the cost, or the mechanics of an `awesome journey'. It's to do with the experience...and can be about sketching, writing, watching a bus, catching a bus, walking the pet poodle or an arbitrary amble to the local store.
That's it then: a maybe-monthly, maybe-weekly foray into a foggy scrapbook world of bits and pieces - depending on contributions - almost-disjointed dregs, snippets, skerricks and leftovers, like the mystery of why the Hell a fresh-faced Indian lad would share a room with a blood-thirsty parrot.
Cheers, ic Ian Cochrane November, 2014 - Doha, Qatar