For tourists it is all-important to be at the right place at the right time. The feeling that a journey has been successfully accomplished often depends entirely on this beat. From sunset over the ruins of Angkor Wat to bugle-blowing at Buckingham Palace to glockenspiel (clock-play) at Munich’s Marienplatz to a sun-downer on the Tanah Lot beach. Naturally the time of a visit to a market is also of crucial importance: sales should be in full swing, the stalls packed, the fish flapping, the traders loudly extolling the virtues of their wares.
That one sometimes gets the impression that all tourists always experience more or less the same thing (at least in a famous town such as Venice) has to do not only with the fact that all of them visit the same historical sites, but also with the fact that they do it at the same time. Travel guides have for long provided not just the names of local restaurants that visitors should by no means miss, but also the time at which they should visit the place – like, for instance, this line of advice: «Come around 6 pm to get the best cicchetti and rub elbows with the locals».
If one wishes, however, to spare one’s elbows or to simply have a different experience, one does not necessarily need to seek another place; it’s enough to be at same place at the wrong time. This principle lends itself to be easily transferred from the field of tourism to various other areas; one could even make an art of leaving the pulse in order to feel, after a fest is over, in a festive mood.
First Publication: 4-5-2015