The noun ところ
(sometimes shortened to とこ
) is often used to describe the ‘place’ or ‘situation’ in which something happens. The primary determining factor for the nuance of ところ
, is the tense of the verb it follows. When it is in the non-past form, ところ
means ‘about to (A)’, or ‘on the verge of (A)’.
He is writing a letter.
I'm on my way to meet my friend.
When the kanji form of 所（ところ） is used, it is often referring to an actual physical location, rather than a situation/standpoint. However, this is something that native speakers will sometimes mistake. Therefore, seeing the kanji form, and the hiragana form, are both relatively common.
This current place…
This current situation…