Thursday, 5 November 2015

What If? Metropolis Travelogue: Welcome to Zolotoy

Nesting comfortably in the middle of a great expanse of towns and cities, the capital Zolotoy will never fail to catch the eye, glittering like a fabulous treasure hoard amongst coal. There is little doubt where the city ends and where it begins, being ostentatiously raised above on fine plinths and decorative pillars that neatly round off the buildings in to a neat spiral, leading up well-kept streets to the densest part where the most lavish-looking houses are. It stands there as a marvel, expecting praise for its intricate designs of golden flowers and fauna, wonder at the curious fancies on display in the all the thickly packed shops, and gaze longingly at the extravagant houses which loftily boast the precious metals of which they are built. It appears the illusion almost works, tantalising passer-by’s, who after a moment of full-scale overwhelming feeling, look away, almost embarrassed by the sheer impossibility of a city so cram-packed with riches. After moment of reflecting, it all looks like an absurd dream next to the far more realistic world of the surrounding towns, just appearing to have a large golden egg tacked bizarrely onto them. The twinkling lights from the city are like jewelled fireflies dancing around in every direction, though this this is just the effect of the houses moving, flashing, spinning and hovering at various speeds.

It is clear actually within the streets of Zolotoy, this concept of gimmick is entirely lost on the inhabitants, who go through live wanting for nothing due to their extreme wealth but always distracting themselves with the newest innovation they dream up in their idleness. The wealth of the city feeds back onto itself, which fresh new inventions which are some small variant of the one before which every buys into to enjoy, like a toy. The masterclass of engineering and workmanship which powers every home is left oblivious to unthinking innocence of the crowd of happy costumers. Everything, from the floral designed mansions, to the well-kept gardens and the ornate carriages have their own surprises hidden away, much to the amusement of their owners who love entertaining themselves as well as guests, demonstrating the new way their many rooms rotate around depending on what time it is, leading them into the dining room at 5 o’clock, which turns smoothly into the lounge after dinner. Nobody notices the gentle whirring under foot that is translated to the cogs working fast to power the other hundreds of appliances. Men at the top of their skills are called in everyday to fix any problems, remodel and change and paid handsomely then prompting forgotten in the excitement of a new toy.

The city’s good feeling of itself is a constant factor in the state of relaxation and ease the people go about their lives. An abundance of cathedrals and other places of worship can be found in every direction, and in the towns several more are dotted about, donated, with a kind of smug kindness, by a private owner.  Every cathedral is individually owned, with the simple thought of easy redemption for their souls, not needing to use them for anything other than for a quick blessing so they could go back to not worrying. The largest is used for celebrations of the whole community, which leaves a lot of them unused, but still well-kept and as extravagantly textured as the rest of the city buildings. The devout nature may be lacking in thought, but it makes people relieved to see a priest when they can, to feel good about the thought of being good.

The cities levels, being raised up from the ground, give the appearance of a luxury box of chocolates, stacked on top of each other. Even in the graveyard, with its many engraved Angel statues look like the casing, with little pockets for each grave neatly spaced out on the crisp lawn. This is part of the few hanging gardens dangling from the city to the surface, where even from far below you are able to see the incredibly decorative flowers arranged around like a village square and around it, the hedges have been clipped into figures of peacocks, elephants, lions and roosters which sparkle softly in the moist Spring air in the early hours of the morning.

The wealth of the many inhabitants come from the sudden acquisition of finding oil reserves on their property, which lead to the promising life being able to afford a house in the city. Nobody is scarce for money, though the least influential live in the simplest homes, most affordable homes. However, due to the almost excessive amount of lavish detail, wealth, toys and trinkets, everybody is treated with a royalty-like reverence by those in the surrounding towns, despite not being lower class in wealth themselves, but the status of being able to afford even just a small apartment in the constantly renovating city was a huge achievement in class, and the wealthiest person in Zolotoy, would be treated like a King, being able to afford the palace at the highest point of the city and the grandest cathedral, which everyone in the city would gather in for social events for the chance to meet them.  

For many mansions, a general theme of delicately engraved flowers and floral patterns form much of the d├ęcor in addition to the hang baskets tottered with flower pots filled with sweet-smelling flowers with long leaves. Marble banisters run up all the way to the roof from the ground floor and many more pillars, lining the levels clearly. Many buildings open up from the hinges and allow people to pass it and view whole building to go up to any floor they wish to go to. Shops of interesting wind-up toys and music boxes and all the latest fashions feature in the shopping centres: a lot of devises that throw lights against the wall and sparkle.  Fountains play merrily, which invite the dropping of coins just to see if a wish will come true. Though what to ask for, when you already have everything you would want?      

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