The idea for this post’s title has been respectfully pinched from thislovely Instagram account.
The idea of jet-lag was so new to me that it took me an inordinate amount of time to come to the conclusion that what was keeping me awake at 3AM in a Seoul hotel room wasn’t debt or guilt but, rather, my own body clock. It was early evening in London.
Granted, there were worse places where to find oneself unable to have a decent snooze than where I was that night: a luxuriously large hotel room featuring amenities that I wouldn’t know how to use (such as a walk-in wardrobe), perched atop 47 stories (with a few more above) of skyscrapers in Incheon (cue below for the thing as seen during the day).
Silently I made my way to the huge, floor-to-ceiling glasswall that abutted on hundreds of meters of pure air. A cluster of high-rise condominiums, that looked so towering from the ground up, now seemed like Lego toys, scattered around a park that didn’t feel larger than a flower bed.
As I sat on a cushion by the window I couldn’t but help feel excited. All around me everything was new and exotic. Every step I made took me somewhere I hadn’t been before; even by going to the corner shop – was there one, by the way? – I’d be breaking new ground. It occurred to me that I’d have been the world’s most enthusiastic Victorian explorer.
Plus, I couldn’t deny a certain feeling of partiality towards the building we were staying in. Skyscrapers have since long exerted a strong impression on me: far from seeing them as avatars of some latent male inadequacy (big phalluses and all that), I always perceived those buildings as symbols of humanity’s progress. There they were, tangible testimony that we could do what nature never designed us to do, living in the sky. Sitting on that cushion by the window, in the Korean night, I felt very much part of mankind’s avant-garde. Laugh if you will, I won’t take it badly.
It was late, but still there was movement on the streets and lights in the apartments. Where were they going? What were they doing? Could these people see me, sat cross-legged in the dark, looking down on them? At that moment, almost out of the blue, I remembered a DJ Krush song, Mu Getsu, that inspired one of my first, clumsy, attempts with composite photography. Without a tripod or a remote shutter controller, things were bound to be sub-optimal, but I decided to give it a go. The first result wasn’t half bad.
I left the camera on for longer, figuring I could wait for sunrise and do something with it; but when the alarm rang and I stumbled awake from the deep slumber I’d eventually fallen into, the day had long since begun.