Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Importance of Having a 'Thing'

I’m in Texas on a road trip.   Day One: fly ten hours from London to Houston and then drive three to Austin.  But I’m happy because I had asked the car rental agency for the biggest baddest car they had and they didn’t let me down.

I can’t see that many practical advantages driving this beast.  It’s actually not that fast and or well equipped.  But it’s a truck and I’m five feet off the ground and the 5.5L V8 makes a gorgeous gurgle.  That’s the thing here – I’m driving a tank, it’s all about me, king of the effing road and the rest of the planet doesn’t count.

Day Two: we check into Hotel Aloft.  It’s a 70 odd chain owned by Starwood.  It’s a big box with 140 rooms, a trendy reception and I count three staff.   There’s no eating apart from a self-service snack bar (pay receptionist), a self-service gym and a pool table.  Our rooms got cleaned at 5.30pm.  But we like this cool feature free box.  There’s a good shower, free wifi and low prices. 

That’s the thing here – without being barren it’s a no frills approach to overnighting.  We leave feeling smug about our discovery, and now I’m telling all my friends – why pay for amenities you never use?

Two days, two different things.  A gross, two fingers up at the world of auto and a stripped down, stylistic but simple place to sleep - each equally confident in their ‘thing’.  Makes me think how compromises ruin great ideas.  Many would hate my auto or choice of hotel.  But accepting and even enjoying rejection – isn’t this how we really define what’s brilliant about what we’ve got – our ‘thing’?