They are those ephemeral places of transit that are only connected by the journey and exist in an interim period. One is not really there yet and actually already gone again. A metaphor of life, you know that you won't stay long.At two o'clock in the morning local time one is still awake. The TV is on and fills the silent emptiness. At home it is only six o'clock in the evening. You eat alone and drink a last beer at the hotel bar.
I am on the road often and for a long time for professional reasons. My business trips usually leave me little room and time for creativity. The usual stops are limited to airports, hotel rooms, offices and meeting rooms - not exotic places, but places of banal everyday life.
They are those ephemeral places of transit that are only connected by the journey and exist in an interim period. One is not really there yet and actually already gone again. A metaphor of life, so to speak: you know that you won't stay long.
I perceive the travel time, especially on the plane, as being outside of profane time. The blue of the sky often seems sacred. The clouds that look like cotton balls; are they nature or artifact?
The altitude and the deep blue ocean reduce the southern tip of Greenland to its geometric shape. In winter, just before dusk, the snow on the soft hills of the Mongolian steppe looks like caster sugar.
But "Transit" also reflects the fate of being foreign and alone in transit. The traveller changes planes, gets off at the airport and changes to a taxi, checks in at the hotel and then checks out again later, only to take the same route in the opposite direction.
At two o'clock in the morning local time one is still awake. The TV is on and fills the silent emptiness. At home it is only six o'clock in the evening. You eat alone and drink a last beer at the hotel bar.
Many of the places in "Transit" are non-places in the sense of the French anthropologist Marc Augé. Especially the function of airports, places of transit without history, is not to stay.
Their purpose is not to create a special identity or a special relation to their surroundings. Rather, their similarity to one another is intended to make it easier for travellers to find their way around.
Here one is always on the way to a place that is more important than this place of transit. The time at the airport is waiting time, dead time. One wants to get on as fast as possible. Nobody meets each other here.
Even hotels are non-places. They are used anonymously and detached from the usual local ties. One is not at home in them, rarely makes personal encounters and hardly any contacts beyond functional exchange.
Ultimately, however, the time between departure and arrival is also a moment of freedom. Until the return to the profane time, one is in a state of freedom from the constraints of everyday life.
MATTHIAS KOCH - Twelve Hours
TRANSIT , from Latin transire (“to go across, pass in, pass through”), from trans (“over”) + ire (“to go”)