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Today's quote:

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Adieu Tristesse

(part of my Sydney trip 1st - 3rd December 2013;
stay tuned for more)


There was something "Hopperesque" about my small room at the Blues Point Hotel. It took me right back to my early days in Australia at Barton House and the many hotel rooms I occupied since in the course of my working life, from Apia to Athens, Penang to Port Moresby, Tehran to Thursday Island, and Jeddah to Yangon. They all, even when they were four or five stars, created this constant feeling of ennui with their lack of domesticity and anonymous furniture.

And yet, it is away from home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture at home insist that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person that we are but who may not be who we essentially are.

Hotel rooms offer an opportunity to escape our habits of mind. Lying in bed in a hotel, we can draw a line under what preceded our arrival, we can overfly great and ignored stretches of our experience. We can reflect on our lives from a height we could not have reached in the midst of our everyday world.

There is poetry in the unfamiliar world around us: in the small wrapped soaps on the edge of the basin, in the view on to an unknown city. Even in the discomforts, the harsh lighting, the unfamiliar bed, we implicitly feel that these places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of our ordinary, rooted world.

Adieu Tristesse!