Click for Lightbox. Photo: (C) Remko Tanis


You are here.

The literal translation of the Chinese on the sign is ‘Your Location’.

But ‘You are here’ is much better. Much more poetic and centered. Especially here at the Central Path of Shanghai Pudong International Airport, with 70,001,237 passengers in 2017 the 9th busiest airport in the world.

On a Sunday in January, at 14:39:50, flight UA835 just landed from Chicago. Flight 9C8590 from Osaka. Flight MU9711 from Mingyi. Flight SQ830 Singapore. HO1184 Shenyang, Y87512 Haikou, QR870 Doha, CA198….

All spewed out passengers. All are now here.

Or at least somewhere at the airport. Not here, necessarily.

The Central Path doesn’t seem like the place to be this Sunday at 14:39:50. There’s a man way at the end of the travelator. He’s wearing a fluorescent vest, so he’s probably at work and has to be here.

Since he got on the travelator, close to a full minute ago, no one else followed. He’ll step off in a second, leaving the moving walkway moving air.

You are here.

Someone should tell the man sitting in the windowsill, next to the IKEA plant.

He has folded his hands this Sunday. He seems to have been here for a while. He is looking this way. He might be responsible for counting people on the travelator. Jobs like that exist, you know.

Now he wants to check whether you will get on it, or if you’re just gonna stand there like an ass taking a photo.

He is here.

You are here.

The window is leaking. So is the ceiling.