Have I mentioned my absolute dislike of the big cities? If not, I’ll just restate quickly that I absolutely hate them, the rush, the traffic, the insular attitudes, the crowds, I’m sure that there’s more but you get the picture.
I had to go to Johannesburg last week for a couple of meetings, I’d tried so hard to get out of the trip but the supplier / principle insisted and so reluctantly I booked my ticket. 9:00am flight up 15:45pm flight back.
In brief I was collected from O.R.Tambo (newspeak for Jhb international or Jan Smuts for those of you with longer memories) precisely on time, whisked off to Springs for a presentation and demo, then off to Rosebank for another and finally to Orange Grove for a quick lunch.
Needless to say up until the lunch everything had gone meticulously to my rather cramped schedule, then some old friends heard that I was in town, tracked me down and joined me at the club we were at.
I’m now running late for my 15:45 flight, we’ll never get there in time, not with the Jhb traffic, ‘not to worry’ someone says ‘get the train.’
The Gautrain (you guys can pronounce it How-train if you have difficulty with the G) is Jhb’s new high speed inter city / suburb rail-link.
I was impressed, I’ve travelled on the systems in London and Paris, been on the Eorostar and the Dublin Luas none of them have a patch on this, fair enough this is brand new, state of the art and only recently commissioned but what a train, what a system.
The train whizzed along at 160Kph (100Mph) and dropped me off inside the airport building (2 floors above international arrivals) it was a short walk to my check-in where I was informed that I’d missed the boarding check-in time by 5 minutes. a very nice (young) lady spoke to me, made a phone call, I was emphasising that I had no luggage and they let me on.
Back in P.E. by 5:30.