NROP: I don’t wanna go down to the basement.

Flying back from Sydney two years ago, I had a seven-hour-long layover in Dubai. While I did go out on the town and got to see a few of the most popular tourist attractions, I still ended up with a few hours to kill at the airport. It was the middle of the night, after a 13-hour-long flight, and before many more hours of flying. Saying that I was tired would be a massive understatement. Getting a hotel room for a few hours seemed a little excessive, so I opted to spend the remainder of the time at the airport.

Even though I knew I would not be able to fall asleep at the airport (like many others had), I was at peace with being stuck at a mostly-closed (middle of the night) airport for a few hours. That was the case until my fellow traveler announced that they found a still cost-efficient, but more comfortable option for us to catch some “z’s”. We were to take a nap in small pods located at the airport. These were tiny rooms that were only big enough to include a twin bed and a bit of space for your carry-on luggage. Some might say it sounds claustrophobic but as long as there is a bed, I do not really care.

We traveled from one terminal to the next to try and locate those “pods.” At the time of our travels, there was a lot of construction going on at the airport, so we got a little bit confused and ended up unnecessarily changing terminals at one point. When we finally arrived at the right place, we found out that the rooms were not there. Further research showed that those pods, too, were under construction. Just our luck.

Sleeping Pod
Sleeping Pod [Source]

As I was researching those beds for this post, I found out that there is more than just one option for people who want to get some shuteye at Dubai’s airport. In my opinion, that is an amazing idea and should be adopted by other airports as well. If you are curious about how it all works, take a look –> HERE <–. (I get no benefits from sharing this.)

When someone I know traveled to Mumbai a year or so ago, they were hellbent on finding the cheapest hotel they could. It was no surprise to me that they opted out of staying at the hotel that they initially booked once they arrived there. Thankfully, they were able to find another cheap place to stay in a much better neighborhood. The service was reported to be great and the cleanliness was on point, too. However, I was surprised when I found out they slept in a slightly altered version of a coffin. Those pods are like the mortuary cabinets, only with windows. To me, that looks and sounds slightly unnerving. It is not just the length and width of a room that matters. The height makes a huge difference when you are trying to emulate a feel of a bedroom.

Pod beds hotel
Pod beds hotel [Source]

Last year I wrote a post entitled “Population control – necessary or immoral,” in which I discussed the crowding of our planet. The article sparked a great debate in the comment section with some people saying there were too many humans on this planet, and others saying that we still had so much space. I happen to agree with both. Yes, there are a lot of uninhibited areas on Earth. However, as someone who has been primarily a city dweller their whole lives, I cannot overlook the fact that there are more and more people trying to fit into a square inch. growing up, my family home was located within city limits, but far away from the center. We had the best of both worlds – city life with the space and comfort of a suburb. By the time I became an adult, that area became densely populated, ridding us of all the nature and space we were used to.

Since then, every city I have lived in, no matter how big, has only grown in population. People complain about the cost of living, but if the demand is higher than the supply, then there is no reason for the supplier to keep the costs down. People are creating their own problems. If they only stayed away from big cities…

The first example, in Dubai, is about convenience (a bed at the airport). The second, in Mumbai, is about cutting down the costs (cheap). The final example, in San Francisco, is about creating enough room for everyone. Let me explain.

The housing market in San Francisco is densely populated (a lot of people coming in and not much more room for building development). A recently proposed plan sounds very innovative. A developer wants to build underground sleeping pods which would be 50 square feet (15m x 15m). Like in the India’s hotel, those would be stacked one on top of the other. Moreover, since those would be located in the basement, there would be no windows to look out of. You would not have any doors, either. You would only get a curtain for privacy to separate you from other tenants.

All of that made me slightly uncomfortable, but when I read that those would be priced $1,000 – $1,375, I laughed. It is not funny. It is terrifying to see how easy it is for stealing can be done legally. For that amount of money you would get enough space to fit in a bed and a desk. If you wanted to cook something or take a shower, you would do so in the communal kitchen or bathroom. It is like being back in the dorm. I shudder.

Apartment pods
Apartment pods [Source]

While this seems to be the first subterranean proposition, pod living is not as innovative as I thought. Podshare is a company who started renting apartment room, which go for $1,200 last year. Here is how they look.

Podshare - Stack-able rooms
Stack-able rooms [Source]

Would you live in such a pod? Why? Why not?

What do you think of such innovative plans?

Stay golden,

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67 thoughts on “NROP: I don’t wanna go down to the basement.

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  1. I too have recently read about pod hotels in Mumbai. Sometimes it makes me think is it a development or we are going towards a planet where we have air to breathe , no land to sleep and water to drink ????

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Sometimes I wonder if people who come up with such ridiculous ideas are really so detached from reality. They hear that people complain about rent in SF being more than $2k (I think that’s what the article quoted), they cut the price in half. And the space. Of course, because they have to gain profit. In their minds, they are heroes, without realizing that $1.4k is still quite a lot.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. My sister lives there, and I visited her. But I don’t want to live there. Two of her friends just moved to other states. The crime rate is terrible. If people are moving there who can’t afford it, then they didn’t do the research before they arrived.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. $1,400 for a coffin-resembling pod. Seems so very strange. It’s not something I would want to embrace. It seems a tad claustrophobic. Plus, you are on top of neighbours; I value my space. Densification in urban areas is definitely problematic and the solutions always seem to be less for more. Apartments with less than 400 square feet and some under 200 are showing up regularly. Which would be fine if the prices were lower but no such luck. What a weird world we live in.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. During my uni years, I had lived with a variety of people. Never in the same room (lucky/blessed), but in the same apartment. More often than not it was unbearable. I cannot imagine anyone having access to my room whenever they wish to come in. And then any noise – music/movies/etc…

      That’s precisely my point. Some people do not need much space (myself included), but make those spaces truly affordable and not just $100 cheaper. And make those spaces livable. I think it’s rather disrespectful to the human kind to think they can live like livestock.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t imagine anyone “wants” to live like this. Probably people would envision doing it temporarily until they have the money for something better, but it costs so much to live in cities now, anywhere nice, that is. I’ve had to get a roommate to continue on in Orange County within a reasonable commute. Of course it would be great to have a condo all to myself, or a house… I should have thought of that 30 years ago in my 20s and chosen a better husband so I wouldn’t be single now on one income. 🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the thing. There is no shame in where you live. Whatever works for you. It’s about your own needs. But to make things like that so outrageously expensive? I think it’s just murder.

      The words of my uni professor regarding the financial benefits of having a partner ring true especially in today’s day and age. I think it’s another piece of evidence that singles are discriminated against.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had never heard of pod hotels, but had heard about pods at airports. I would not sleep below ground, it creeps me out. I would not live somewhere that gives me no privacy. Now, this does seem like a viable situation for homeless people, but not me who comfortable lives in her 4 bedroom house.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t think homeless people can afford $1.2-1.4k for rent each month… It makes me wonder why people insist on crowding the big cities. If they were to stay put further away, businesses would have no choice but to come to them and rent prices might not be getting so out of hand.

      Enjoy your mansion 🙂


      1. That is true, I didn’t think of that. It seems rather pricey for one room. I am so glad I don’t live in a big city. I own a house that I rent out. It is four bedrooms and I rent it for $825.00 per month. I could get more, but the family living in it are wonderful and probably couldn’t afford to stay if I raised the rent. It covers my mortgage, taxes, and insurance with a bit left over each month for repairs. That is all I need.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My first thought when I saw a picture of pods in Mumbai was: what about fresh air? It looks so airtightly closed that I cannot even imagine using AC in such a small space. I would feel claustrophobic and I would risk getting panicked when waking up at night. On the other hand, when I had no choice, I would choose to have any bed instead of nothing.

    When I was transiting once in the Middle East after a long haul flight the only option was a “quiet” room with multiple lawn chairs. I would give everything then for having a bed.

    However, the cost of pods apartments in SF sounds outrageous comparing to the quality and comfort you get. Can”t the city invest in buildings in the suburbs in the south? If the city expands, so does its reach.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t even thought about ventilation. Great. Now, I just saw all the horror stories of people trapped in there without oxygen play out in front of my eyes.

      I cannot fall asleep in a public place. Not on a plane, not in a “quiet room.” Besides, there’s always someone that’s far from quiet either in one of those rooms or right outside. Some laptop keyboards make really loud noises when struck. Amplified by the silence…

      I totally agree. It’s ridiculous how we insist on living on top of one another.


      1. Goldie, it might be a topic for your next CW! Getting stuck in a pod with the ventilation broken down! That could be a great story of how to get out of the trap! 😉

        I cannot fall asleep in a public place either. You’re right that there’s always someone who prevents you from it, but I believe it’s also a simple fact we don’t feel safe and comfortable either to fall asleep with peace. We’re in alert mode. Needless to say, my alert mode on a plane is on the highest level as I’m scared of flying and somehow I delude myself that staying awaken will help me to control better the situation (as if I could have controlled anything being on a plane…).

        Living far from big cities would require good public transport solutions. If there are none or they’re not good enough, then no surprise cities get crowded. Do you think SF has good public transport solutions?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I would not live in such pod…there’s something about space for me that I love and privacy would be another issue for me. I work out/yoga at home, so I love to have space. Also, I would need windows to look outside. Noise would probably be another issue for me. I wonder if they let people have pets in these pods?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. All I can do is laugh… it makes me sad that people will pay so much for so little. Where I live – and I live in one of the bigger cities – my parents house (I don’t live in the centre) could be rented for that price a month. I don’t think more than a thousand pounds. 6 bedrooms. A big front and back garden… etc. People who don’t live near nature don’t know what they are missing…
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It reminds me of the night train trips I used to take.
    There would be in 6 “beds” in a small compartment.
    There was barely any space let alone privacy, but apparently that didn’t matter to me back then.
    It were the best nights of sleep I’d ever experienced.

    I don’t like traveling by plane, but if they would have these in all airports, I’d be more than happy.
    As for actual living?
    Nah. I am one of those who prefers to invest in an actual home, rather travel around the world.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow. You actually slept in those? I imagine that if the train “room” would be lockable and only the people I know would be inside, I might try to sleep. I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis, though. As much as I love sleep, I am very picky about the mattress and pillows.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve seen pods such as these in Japan, but I never stayed in one of them. I didn’t know they exist somewhere else. I wanted to try them when I went to Japan but they cost more than an apartment from Airbnb.
    I’d never live in such a very small space. I grew up in a small city, in a house with a huge backyard. Now that I live in a big city that’s getting more crowded everyday I’m starting to think about going back to where I came from, where it’s still possible to live in a house with a lawn. I could never live in a room with strangers. I’m pretty sure my dog would hate it too.😅

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think because they are seen as novelty, they might be priced higher than substitutes. It might be a curious experience to sleep in one for the night and to check how claustrophobic you are (or not), but to live there… that’s a whole other story.

      You got a dog?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. True, it’s a different story indeed to live there. I just wanted to try for a night and see what it’s like.
        I have a dog, a pomeranian. He likes to run around and he hates small spaces. He couldn’t stand being in a cage. And so I don’t see how people can bear such small spaces.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. While I see the utility in a place like PodShare, for single young adults wanting to live and work in a city, I couldn’t do it. Not only do I have a family, extra awkwardness right there, but my C-PTSD wouldn’t agree with such a setting. These people seem fine with what they get, and I believe at one point I read that they can take a pod at any of their locations without paying any extra. Sort of like those popular gyms that let you go to any of their plethora of locations with one membership. If it works and gives people what they want, then why not have this as an option?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. But it’s so expensive! It’s like robbing people in broad daylight. Only it’s not a crime.

      What you described sounds so gross. Can you imagine sleeping in a bed that someone else slept in the night before?


  11. I’ve researched the fertility rate of various countries and expect that the replacement rate in most first world locations will fall below even in the coming decades. It’s already the case in many countries. The poorist 3rd world countries are the harbingers of Malthusian doom. But as they progress, as women become more educated and capable, they too will see fertility rates drop.

    This has implicates across the board. Unexpectedly, in economics and the dominance of capitalism. Growth, growth growth — that’s capitalism’s mantra. But without new people — growth must fall.

    With better transportation and communication there’s no real reason to live in a city. Spread out into the country side. In fifty years? Where will we live?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally. Which is why I’m flabbergasted to see such crowds in the city. But I guess that makes me one to talk. I am making a conscious decision to pull away, though. I like big cities, but not the crowds and other drawbacks (pricing) that go with it.

      I’d like to think that naturally we will spread out, but then I look at some small towns and villages. They have only become emptier…

      Liked by 1 person

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