mánudagur, ágúst 28, 2006


The least place-like of all non-places I know is the newer wing of Keflavík airport. There really ought to be a recognized scale. For example, Sinsen Krysset is a classic non-place, being no more than a tangle of underpasses and a roundabout. Nonetheless it has a name and a busstop. But the younger wing of Leifsstöð, svo ég viti, is not named anything in particular. That alone makes it less of a place.

Leifsstöð itself is very place-like for an airport, also a classic sort of non-place. It has that charming nickname, for one. BSÍ is similar, as is Grand Central Station, for that matter. They are high on the scale, up at the almost-places end. Sinsen Krysset is lower down. Way down on the scale, I hold, is the new wing.

The flights to the States leave from there. It is behind another wall of security, past a line of scowling pass-checkers, isolated from the main terminal with its bar, stained glass window, bank, café, the quality duty free. Architecturally, it resembles Gardermoen, which is definitely a non-place, and this adds to the overall disorienting effect. It looks out onto nothing in particular: luggage trolleys, runway equipment. No books are available for purchase there, nor anything else really worth buying. No food or coffee of any note. It's full of people not even stopping for a day. There is nothing cosy there, no hygge at all.

Of course I'd have stopped for longer if I could. I'd leave the non-place and go out, if only onto the weird wrinkled plain of Reykjanes. Instead I sit behind the glass for a few hours, fire a few electronic messages into the ether and receive a few in return. And then off and soon far above the silent Greenland ice, on my way somewhere else.

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