I too have been inside a factory. As you leave the big city, there are shiny green fields, and on the other side of a long wall, there it is: the factory. I went one morning. I was accompanied by someone who conscientiously showed me around and described everything there was to see. He was surprised and he almost scolded me for stopping; he didn’t understand it, my staring at small machinery. Perhaps it wasn’t so important to him, at least not as much as the big machines and the systems he wanted to take me through; still, it raised my interest.
There was a strange atmosphere. It was around 11, with workers on break for a bite to eat. Some sections gave a sense of emptiness. There were no people, just endless rows of machines, one after the other, big and small. They are called “manufacturing cycles”. Multi-coloured machines – yellow, red and green tubing –, strange tanks, whistles, smells, smoke; here and there tapes winding and unwinding, depending on the operation.
I wasn’t able to ask questions. Nevertheless, as we went along, the diligent attendant at my side named each piece of machinery very precisely: extruders, grinders, cables, conveyor belts, boring tools, wrapping machines.
Had it only been possible, I would have immediately put into images everything I was seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, even, of the world I was gradually discovering: the factory.
I went back out into the sun. I saw the long wall again, the shiny green fields, the big city nearby, with a pleasant feeling like back in those childhood days.