I have to confess, I’m obsessively craving for staying in a hotel, and I think it’s one of the main reasons I go travel, longing for hotels. I would call out “there’s a hotel!” while I drive by one even though it’s right next to my destination. After many years I try to figure out the hidden meaning for this particular obsession.
In a Flipboard’s article the motel on films, a concept is raised, “A hotel is a society in miniature, a house is a symbol of family and continuity. the motel has become a metaphor for angst and alienation” by Philip French. There’s lots of movie scenes with shootouts and violence in motel/hotel, from Hitchcock’s Phycho (1960) to modern violence invasion climbing up to home scenes like Funny Game or You are the Next (2013).
The motel violence scenes mix with the cultural elements into a bowl of snack for movie viewers to get the taste of…the isolation in modern era due to the lifestyle changed. On the other hand the violence home invasion reminds us that no place is safe even though home is a symbol for family and security. The horror vine crawls up to our secured building, darkens our windows from outside. It invades any realm and claim it’s one of their kind. Our insecurity grows due to lifestyle changed and unstable economic status, which has flowed out of the big wide movie screen and called for help “the monster is behind me!”
I haven’t stayed in a motel before. Maybe I’m worse that I don’t have transportation that could carry me to any land that I’d like to stay at. Without a compass or a physically body carrier that could shift my travelling soul, I have to stay in hotel instead. The difference between motel and hotel is motel is more for quick stay during a trip with low budget planning and the help of a vehicle. More important is when you come and go people wouldn’t notice you once been there. That’s why it’s referred as “angst and alienation”. Hotel on the other hand requires a good plan, just like getting into a society, before seeing a new scene you got to follow the crowd and the arrangement of schedule, and maybe with the arrival of the flight.
Longing for a hotel could be like longing for a new experience, a sign of willing to transcend the confines of ones’ mundane life, the curiosity to mysteries, a way to express the objection to the traditional family life while it requires courage and bravery to throw yourself into the ocean, the horror atmosphere of movie scenes while allowing unpredictable plots to happen on you. While sleeping in strange island of a new hotel, you feel alive again, far from the dull home, the daily routine, far away from the ordinary life that requires you going to work and coming back home with grocery and cooking at home and being an obedient wife.
It is quite an experience and it’s kinda like enjoying the moment that is far away from home. It’s time to explore the world beyond your understandings, your comfort zone, your trapped emotions, and you will learn something new that might change your way of seeing things. Subject can always be unfolded in multi-ways, and may not be simply explained.
And you know you are not alone in the strange place, just like the hotel, because people are like you, and because you know the next day you will see the millions-colored sky in a new place and you won’t regret you’ve come all the way here even though you have gone through all the darkness and the horror scenery. You know that you have learned something from the experience, and hotel gives you a comfort bed to supplement your journey so it’s a big help.