Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Couching in Cape Town – Red vs Blue

Okay, so I was feeling rather ill yesterday. In all due honesty, I should have seen this coming: since I arrived in Cape Town, one of my digsmates has been sniffling and hacking like he had the Black Lung . Fortunately, I seem to have something of a fast-forward immune system: I usually feel like absolute hell for 24 hours, but tend to bounce back almost immediately afterwards. Hooray for me: I may actually leave the house today.

That leaves the matter of what I got up to yesterday, and since I spent so much time within the proximity of a couch, I deem it necessary to publish a long-overdue sleep review of my current abode.

I was offered two sleeping options. Enter option A:

Nice blue couch. Laptop not part of standard package.

This is a pretty good resting spot: the material isn't chafey, the length is acceptable and the low arms allow for a great deal of flexibility in posture, meaning that no matter what your sleeping style may be, you should be able to find a position that's most comfortable for you. A word of advice: low arms are king. If they're below a certain height, they can even be used as cushions.

Unfortunately, there's one or two disadvantages to this particular resting spot. One is the colossal noise that the couch emits every time you make even the slightest movement. If you're a fairly heavy sleeper or capable of selectively filtering out nighttime noises, this should be okay. Light sleepers, you'll just have to learn to lie very, very still when you're slumbering. And stop breathing.

Other problems include the damnable mosquito population (good luck trying to get a peaceful night with those little buggers around) and the extremely central location of the couch itself – meaning that you'll have to be comfortable with a high-traffic sleep environment. Still, these are purely circumstantial drawbacks and it would be unfair to judge the couch too heavily based on such external factors. This couch gets 6.8/10 because I felt like putting a decimal point somewhere.

Option B isn't going to receive nearly as generous a review:

Remember, kids. Red = danger.

The picture may not convey this properly, but this little red number is rather small. Sure, it gets points for being cute and portable (heck, it's a chair as well!), but this isn't nearly enough to offset the fact that it's altogether way too tiny to support human life.

Sure, this may be cool if you're a dwarf. And I mean a particularly small dwarf that gets teased by other dwarfs for being so short. But I'm going to assume that the majority of sleepers will be of average dwarf-height or taller, and for such people this couch will simply not do. The material of the couch also promises a forbidding rest spot during winter, for which the first 30 seconds will basically mean the difference between life and a frigid death that would put the Camps Bay ocean to shame.

Yes, you can adapt and extend the couch with various peripherals to make your sleep more comfortable (maybe rest your feet on some extra cushions or whatever), but at the end of the day a couch review assesses the couch itself WITHOUT any of the extra 'help' that creative sleepers may employ. As a result, I'm sadly forced to give this particular sleep spot a 3/10.

When I return to Cape Town in April for Coke Zero Fest with some friends, I'll definitely be fighting for the blue couch when night falls.

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