Sunday, 27 January 2013

THE STRANGEST DAY IN TIME: RAIN ROOM + THE MAGIC FRIDGE

Is this real life? Do you ever get the feeling that your head is literally going to explode 'David After the Dentist' style? When your mortal brain is just too minuscule to comprehend the obscurity of a situation or chain of events? Today was that day. Bizarre to say the least.

I'm not a fan of queues. I like to get things done quickly and efficiently. Out of the way. I don't even like to queue for the restroom when I'm likely to spontaneous burst. Sitting on the carpeted floor of the Barbican in a 2 and a half hour queue, I must have been barely recognisable. What followed - a room full of rain - was worth the wait.

Yes, the Rain Room is what it says on the tin. A shadowy room, lit only by one spotlight, was empty apart from the simulated rain cascading from the ceiling. So what? After being prepped by the guide to "move slowly", we edged towards the water - worried about what our leather shoes and heat-styled hair would have to say about it. Then, it parted. The rain parted. Around us. Where you stand the rain parts and around you streams a glittery downpour. And on your face (and just about everyone's faces around us) sits a fixed grin. It feels like some sort of paradise - a world outside of our world - where you see and feel nothing but the simplistic beauty of the exhibition enveloping you. It's inspiring - a burst of guerrilla catharsis. In saying that, I mean that once you step out of the rain you feel like you've just watched a soppy film with a really happy ending. The telltale choke at the back of your throat that threatens to turn into a shower of happy tears. It's weird, given, but it's true. Back to reality. Back to real life. 

Safe to say I won't be looking at rain the same way.


But then, as though my day couldn't get anymore surreal, we decided to stop for dinner at The Breakfast Club by Liverpool Street Station. It's a cute little hipster haunt - somewhere between an '50s diner and an old school playground - with the most fantastic halloumi wraps I've had so far. A vintage fridge - a white Smeg, to be exact - sat against the wall adjacent to me. It wasn't at all out of place until a group of urban cool kids disappeared behind it's doors (yes, disappeared) and never came back. What lurks behind it is an underground cocktail bar. Dimly lit, relatively unknown and with off the scale cool credentials - it's set to be my new haunt. 

So, rain without getting wet. Magical Narnia fridges. Is there anything else you'd like to throw at me today, life?
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