Wednesday, 10 December 2014

WIM: Traraum Travelogue

Traraum is a city that fell prey to a sad emptiness. Built in the hope of being the next utopia for humans it’s been reduced to nothing but a new home for nature.

Originally built with humans in mind its buildings were tall and widely spaced apart however this only proved irritating for those that lived there. The wide gaps between the buildings meant that either cars or public transport was required to get to any other buildings or public places in the city. Anyone who didn’t have access to these methods would struggle to get around the city and couldn’t perform menial tasks such as grocery shopping. The city drained the money of the people meaning they soon fell into poverty and those who couldn’t repay their debts became anxious.

Mental illness grew in the city; people became desperate for a way out of their nightmare. Some turned to crime to increase their income. Ranging from prostitution to daylight robbery, the city gradually fell into chaos as police forces were overpowered and bribed. Those who wanted no part in crime instead took much more brutal ends throwing themselves from the city’s buildings. Distraught, paranoid and wanting to return to their old lives many families, especially the rich, got out of the city while they could.

The population and the money in the city dwindled massively and those that were left began to starve. The city was deemed a failure and unsafe to live in. Those still remaining were asked to evacuate Traraum.  It was decided that the city would be destroyed and a new one with be built in its place.

The wreckage of the city however still remains. New plans are currently being processed but the sickly atmosphere of the city still clouds over the surrounding areas. Taking a trip to the city I was able to confirm this firsthand.

As I arrived in the city a smell of rotting and damp was present in my nostrils. The atmosphere was empty and the deadly silence was only driving its eerie atmosphere. Roads were endless, buildings seemed tall and unreachable and sometimes being there seemed a little too much. I could certainly see why this city was abandoned in the way it was.

After driving around for a bit I decided to try exploring one of the buildings that had been abandoned here. As I approached it I saw a sign labelled with “Besorgnis House, Apartments 1-202”. It was clear a lot of families would have made this building their home and now here it was falling apart and surrounded by debris. As I entered the apartment building a darkness fell upon me, it was pitch black inside. Prepared for this I grabbed a torch from my bag and turned it on. Able now to see the inside I could see a lift directly opposite me though obviously it was no longer operational. I swung the torch around and went in search of some stairs.

Ascending the stairs I went in search of signs that people had truly abandoned this place. As I climbed the smell of rotting only grew stronger. I noticed an open door and took a peek inside. Some furniture still remained in the apartment though it was old and battered. Light came through an open window, I wondered over to it and noticed a rather sinister bird had made this place its home.
I made the decision to leave and keep heading upstairs. As I kept travelling I noticed that the stairs had fallen away and that I could no longer go on. I exited the building and noticed a courtyard close by.

The courtyard looked as if it had once been surrounded by walls however most of these had fallen away now. Minding my step I made my way into the yard and immediately noticed a large clock tower. It was odd for a centrepiece being green for a start. It was sickly and not attractive at all. Its jagged edges looked dangerous and I questioned why it had been built in the first place. Even the fact that it was falling apart couldn’t excuse its unhospitable design. I carefully placed my fingers along it and felt it. It was rough to the touch. Was this the effect of the decay?

To the right of the clock tower was some odd looking structures, they looked almost like they had been made from stone. I immediately wondered why they had placed there, behind two buildings facing the opposite way. They just seemed out of place and were almost overshadowed by the clock tower. The one on the left seemed very interesting, the longer I looked at it I noticed that a face had been carved into it. Maybe an artist had made them, still placing them there did them no justice whatsoever.

I looked into the distance of this forsaken city. I noticed how endless it truly was. Odd looking towers sparsely covered the landscape and like everything else in the city, they were falling apart. Everything seemed dusty and unfixable, it was almost like this place was doomed to fail. It was an eyesore to any places nearby and clearly had an unwelcoming vibe.

As I turned back I realised that I’d forgotten were I’d parked my car. Not wanting to stay in this gloomy place any longer I ran in the direction I was sure I parked. Running fast it almost felt like someone was chasing me, was this how the people of this city felt?

I tripped over some rumble badly hurting my foot, as I looked up I saw my car. I was glad I had a way out. I hobbled along and got into the seat slamming the door firmly.

As I said goodbye to the city and left it far behind me I wondered why anyone could have chosen to live here. Its clear design flaws had utterly forsaken this city. This paired with the horrid atmosphere the city created Traraum appeared as a truly formidable city to tackle. 


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