People Pods

I’ll admit it, I have a bizarre/exciting/abnormal life right now. I’m living out of a suitcase, sharing space with people I barely know, and I’m about to give up sleeping in a bed/ hot showers for the next month. Still, despite the usual oddities of my day-to-day life, some situations I get myself into are just weird.

Think hostels decked out with pics of naked women, see-through communal showers, light switches hidden on different floors. Stray dogs that wonder in (and are impossible to get out), bathrooms with no lights, pet mice, living without a mirror for months, housekeepers that walk in randomly- no knocking here, but, by far the strangest is the pod.

Yes, the pod. I decided to move into Cape Town City Center for a few nights before I camp and sleep in a pod bed. What is a pod? Well, let me tell you. Picture a huge room, where all the walls have one hole on the bottom, another on the top with beds in them. Kind of like a burial room/vault with coffins in the wall, just not coffins, but beds. The room easily holds 30 people in their pristine, white pods.

The only thing that separates you in your little pod is a thin red curtain that you pull closed once you crawl in your space. Privacy is a luxury in my life- I savor moments of quiet, moments all to myself (they are fleeting). This curtain hardly provides privacy, each fellow pod sleeper can be seen walking by, climbing the ladder into the pod above. I crawl in, put my feet on the ceiling in my pod, try out a downward facing dog in my cube, exploring the small space I can call mine for the night.

Nostalgia these days comes in the form of closets, a room of my own where I can place my things, cooking in a kitchen, having my own bathroom. Instead I find myself in some futuristic pod/spaceship bed, sharing space with people of all ages, from all over the world. I choose this. I wouldn’t have it any other way. What is normal, really? Will I find it again, or have I ever had it in the first place?

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