Home Elsewhere

I have spent so much time in other rooms alone. It has been the central experience of my travels.

Hotel rooms. Better they be good hotels. Better they have room service and the food be good. That way I am not provoked to go out. Better they have a view. And television, no matter if the programs are foreign or strange. Better if they are.

Borrowed or rented rooms. Better they be pleasantly furnished. Better they have interesting books and magazines. And as with hotel rooms, better if they have a view.

I see the world passing outside the window of other rooms. If the hotel is very modern and the room is sealed tight or very high up, I hear nothing of that passing world. Better then if the view is unimpaired and dense with activity or if the architecture outside has something to offer, even if it's kitschy.

A greater pleasure if I can hear the passing world outside. Car engines and horns, revved motorcycles, hammering and other sounds of construction and maintenance, and speech, preferably in my native language. Disorderly sounds, not so good, but in certain places and at certain hours of the night they are unavoidable.

There's a whole world outside, sometimes the reason why I'm here in the first place. But the cocoon of other rooms binds me, as if a kidnap victim who cannot escape. It can be pleasant. Perhaps it can be pleasant to be kidnapped. Don't the victims begin to bond with their captors? Or so I've heard, or seen in crime movies. I bond with my captor who is myself.

  The world beckons. Sometimes there is song. Wouldn't it be pleasant to go out and hear the song, see the singer? I have managed to escape. But I have also failed to do so and stayed inside hearing the muffled song, imagining the singer. Odysseus tied to the mast of other room