Saturday, 15 June 2013

Grand Daddy Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park, Cape Town



For the young at heart


The Grand Daddy Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park in Cape Town is a celebration of all that is young and hip. The concept is as bizarre as it is fantastic – a collection of shiny silver Airstream trailers placed at the very top of a funky hotel in the centre of the city. Walking out onto the rooftop, with its wooden walkways between the trailers, labelled red letterboxes and pretty green trees, it is like entering the mind of a creative genius.


Individually decorated trailers have creative themes like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Pleasantville and The Ballad of John and Yoko. I find my own dinky trailer, Dorothy, the pale blue inside of which is covered with white polka dots. No effort has been spared in the commitment to the concept, with the polka dot theme extending to the walls, roof, floor, fridge, radio, cups and even the dustbin. Some of the polka dots are three dimensional, and when lifted reveal a tiny art exhibition. A pair of glossy red shoes under the basin in the bathroom completes the Dorothy theme.


The trailer bathroom has a fully functional toilet and the cutest bath-shower in one corner. More gimmicky than glamour, this space is a delight for kids and the young at heart.


Accommodation Experience
I feel about a hundred years older than the average resident at the Grand Daddy Airstream Rooftop Trailer Park, though I am greeted in a friendly and inclusive way by the thinly clad pretty young things at the open air bar. Well, I figure if you are going to have a mid-life crisis, do it in style. Most of us have been so very good our whole lives – fulfilling others’ expectations of us, even adding to this with our own self-imposed achievement pressure. Mid-life (and beyond) is a psychologically exciting time to review all this. To eschew the neat, well-behaved path we are treading, which could be leading us further into estrangement from our true selves.

Mary Oliver, in her poem Wild Geese, writes:

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.


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