Sunday 11 March 2007

The design of the birdcage trolley

My hotel in Antwerp
In many ways, I have taken a liking for Antwerp, not for any particular reason than the fact that it is easy to get to and a generally nice place to be.
It has also become one of my pet luxuries to stay only at the Astrid Park Plaza Hotel which is directly in front of the Central Station, in fact, if I cannot get a room in this hotel, I strike Antwerp off my list.
I have also noticed that the staff might have cottoned on me being a regular such that I now always get a 7th-floor room overlooking some part of Antwerp, some spectacular others so dreary.
So, as I arrived at the hotel on Friday night and tried to negotiate the 10 or so steps that looked like I was about to walk up the steps of the Basilica of Sacr̩ Coeur Рtwo bags, cane and all РI have not mastered the art of travelling light; the bellboy came to my rescue and I was parted from the luggage as I checked in at reception.
Once that was done, the bellboy, hardly a boy really; helped me up to my room as I wondered aloud why a bellboy’s trolley was designed the way it was, a bit camp, a bit overstated and almost impossible to reason out.
But when I saw how he manoeuvred the trolley, taking advantage of the 4-wheel drive, the horizontal bars, the possible holds and the cage structure that allows for heaped baggage without the danger of spilling the luggage, it began to make sense.
Then I found out, it is not called a bellboy’s trolley, but a birdcage trolley – sometimes, these names are just as camp as Christmas – feast your eyes.

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