ISSN : 2266-6060

Landmarks

reperes

You’ve been regularly back in this station for thirty years. The first time that you stopped at Centraal Station, it was during a trip with friends a summer at the beginning of the nineties. For five days only, you appreciated architectural features, the multiplicity of transportation modes and, more generally, the atmosphere that emerged. This journey was one of the stages of a one month tour in Europe with a specific written object: an InterRail pass. Thus you came back the next year, this time with a regular train ticket, to stay more days, visiting and appreciating other pats of the city. Then, you came back again to pace some unfamiliar sites for inhabitants or tourists. At that time, you went with those that have developed a real passion for writing their names on subway trains.Like the ones of New York City, the two main yards were regularly visited by graffiti writers from all over the world. Thus you had the opportunity to discover some other corner of the station, notably by night while waiting for the return train to the other Dutch city in which you stayed during that trip. You also went back to Amsterdam for other journeys with your family, without necessarily passing through the station.
This time, you went for another writing practice: to complete an European grant proposal with some colleagues. You had rediscovered Centraal Station with such a feeling of mixed familiarity and strangeness. The building and its platforms are still the same, but numerous facilities were added since your last visit : information screens have been modernized and there are more and more signposts. The screen that displays the arrangement of trains is on the platform, like those dedicated for TGV. But unlike your journeys in France, you spent some time to look for the landmarks that allow you to wait ahead of schedule in front of the right car. It was only in the course of a movement of some passengers that a red mark appears on the platform. Instead of installing new signposts, dedicated to certain trains only, some tiles serves as landmarks, unobtrusive in the landscape while particularly efficient. Then, you understood that some components of the building that seem to be so familiar to you, and immutable were transformed themselves. You have also felt how much a sheer mark on the floor made reappear in you these different experiences accumulated there.