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Life is a Dream​

2003

‘life is a dream, and dreams themselves are only dreams’

Calderon de la Barca, Life is a dream

 

 

"The hotel room is an international space like world embassies where all languages are spoken and people from every race and nationality are welcome – as long as they are solvent, that is. It is paradoxical that such a differentiated clientele with such varied tastes and customs are catered for with such a staggering homogeneity. The creation - semantic more than culinary – of concepts such as International Cuisine, Continental Breakfast, Mediterranean Cuisine, Fast Food, Fusion Cooking or Modern European Cuisine are a reflection of this phenomenon. Travelers and tourists eat and drink the same, no matter if they are in Dubai, Lima or Sidney. Outside the hotel is babble (Babel), where all is incomprehensible and meaning is lost."

 

King, City A to Z p112

 

Back to the hotel, I have walked all day, I take a shower and I contemplate the room around me. The bed, the lights, the TV set, the remote control, the Bible, the pictures on the wall, the complementary soap and shampoo, the telephone, the health and safety notes… I sit on the bed and turn the television on; I see channels in French, Spanish, English, German and another language can’t distinguish. The same TV channels as the night before in a different city in a different country. The daydream starts again and the immensity of the off white walls of the hotel room gets hold of my senses. ‘I realise that, as I walked along, my mind filled the desert landscape with water! In my imagination I flooded the space around me while walking through it.’ Bachelard p.207. Similarly the deserted sameness in all hotel rooms, their empty walls and functional features generates the traveler’s daydream of what they have left behind or perhaps of what they anticipate. A hotel room is an empty space that we cannot enter, in the hotel rooms we daydream and produce our own spaces.  A hotel room is not the same place to everyone.