A couple of months ago, a friend shared a post on their Instagram stories with the hashtag #AccidentallyWesAnderson and, immediately, I was intrigued.
Clicking on it, I found myself scrolling through a host of whimsical images from all corners of the globe that, indeed, seemed to have been snapped on one of Wes Anderson’s gently magical movie sets. What made all of them so arresting, however, was the fact that they depicted real-life places that weren’t even *trying* to be anything but themselves.
Eventually, I found the main account where the best of #AccidentallyWesAnderson got featured and it’s quickly become one of my feed favourites.
The affiliated Accidentally Wes Anderson website describes the intention behind the project* as: “A lookbook for avid travelers and aspiring adventurers – a taste of the unending opportunities to experience distinctive design and unexpected narratives.”
So, when Guillaume and I recently made an overnight stop in Springbok en route to Ai Ais and our Fish River Canyon adventure, I suddenly found myself gazing at it through whimsy-tinted glasses.
As we took a twilight stroll through the streets before sitting down for an early supper at the Springbok Lodge restaurant, this dusty and somewhat desolate Northern Cape town lifted its veil just a bit to reveal a quaintness you might miss if you didn’t take the time to look.
I found it in the idealistically named ‘Honolulu’ Mica hardware store and in the yellow awnings, doors and blinds of the various houses dotted throughout town, the sum total of which made up Springbok Lodge. I found it in the extensive crystal collection in the shop adjacent to our restaurant and in the strangely out of place esoteric posters explaining their powers. In our waitress’ choice of purple eye shadow and the ‘preutse’ (beautiful Afrikaans word that roughly translates to ‘prudish’) blue outfit – complete with old-fashioned bonnets and mid-calf skirts – she (and the rest of the serving staff) wore.
Although I couldn’t capture everything on camera – like the two teenage boys walking down Voortrekker Street (the town’s main thoroughfare) blasting heavy metal from a boombox-esque Bluetooth speaker – here a few snaps that I hope may translate something of the magic I got to see:
*If you want to know more about the account, read this great interview with founder, Wally Koval on Passion Passport.