HAVE BEEN THERE – AN OBSESSION
Text Patrick Bartos
Illustrationen: Georg Wagenhuber
VIRTUALLY BEING THERE
Through whatever influence I somehow
get interested in this particular place. So I get myself
a travel guide and start reading, page after page, history,
architecture, culture and customs, sightseeing, eat, drink,
shop, arts and entertainment, galleries, nightlife, and
I look at the pictures, and the map, of course, the map.
Where is the city centre, where are the foundations of
the city, what is the shape of the place and how does it
compare to others? Which buildings, which businesses, which
cultural institutions are clustered how and to which degree?
Is there an underground, how many lines, how do I get to
this or that museum, gallery, restaurant, place of interest?
And what are the clichés, and what is the pop cultural
image, and how did they come about? Are there any movies
about the place? I have to see the movies, at least one
or two. Who wrote what about the place? I have to read
that and to do so, well ... to really do so I have to study
the language. And so I go and buy a course book and start.
And studying the language works best if I also get some
music, some locally produced music, and get the feeling
for the rhythm of the language, and after a while I can
communicate and communicate about the place, even with
people from there. And I can assemble the very deepest
knowledge about the place, and still know that even only
one day there would make such a fundamental difference,
just to smell the air, to watch the people, to walk down
a street, to FEEL THE PLACE.