Sunday, September 06, 2015

On hotels and being a "hotel citizen."

The industrial hotel has been an economic triumph. But over the years its uniformity has made it an emotional failure.
-- The Economist ("A short history of hotels: Be my guest")

Substitute the word "beer" for "hotel," any grasp my life the past quarter-century.

During which I've done my fair share of traveling, and to me, the entirety of hotels (or hostels, or Airbnb) comes down to an affordable place to sleep.

Consequently, I've tended to worry less about ambiance; when traveling in civilized places possessing public transport (read: Europe), location means less, too. You can always get there from somewhere.

Obviously, there is more to it.

The “Romance” of Travel, by AndrĂ© Naffis-Sahely (The Paris Review)

Joseph Roth’s hotel years.

“I am a hotel citizen,” Joseph Roth declared in one of the newspaper dispatches anthologized in The Hotel Years: Wanderings in Europe Between the Wars, “a hotel patriot.” It’s easy to see why: Red Joseph was nothing if not a cosmopolitan humanist, and the hotel was his natural habitat. “The guests come from all over the world,” he explains:

Continents and seas, islands, peninsulas and ships, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and even atheists are all represented in this hotel. The cashier adds, subtracts, counts and cheats in many languages, and changes every currency. Freed from the constriction of patriotism, from the blinkers of national feeling, slightly on holiday from the rigidity of love of land, people seem to come together here and at least appear to be what they should always be: children of the world.

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