At the airport, waiting for the next flight.

Liminal space… a phrase my supervisor at university once mentioned to me when he was describing his stay at a hotel somewhere in USA. This phrase grips my imagination, comes to my mind every time I happen to be at an airport.

At the international airport of Busan

At the international airport of Busan

A strange time-and-space experience, surrounded by many unconnected people who share and not share the moment, only existing in my perception, and I in their perception – making sense only within the very specific, limited bounded and private domains of their own.

One of the things we do in such a space is to imagine what is going on in their domains, watching them interact with their companions, and various emotions that surface. As I watch them I entertain my thoughts by connecting what I see with what I imagine to be their lives that may lie as a continuum behind their faces.

Travelling spurs expectations for all sorts of encounters and developments. These people around me at this very moment could develop to form part of my new encounters, but usually they just pass and disappear into nothingness. There are millions of people in this world, but only very few come crossing my life. Profound it is to know that all the people who come into my life have hit the one-in-million chances and how rare that should be.


About Dr Kats

a working sociologist/linguist/translator based in Kobe, Japan
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