Saturday, March 03, 2012

the day i caught the train

hi there

well, today was a little different from a usual Saturday for me. partially because i ended up going shopping twice, slightly because Boro won, but mostly because the day saw me take the train to the airport.

i had reason to be at the airport today, so decided that it would be best to take this much vaunted, expensive to build and seemingly but not really expensive to ride Gautrain along. well, the roads are a nightmare to the airport at the moment with all the road works.

i thus duly got myself to the Sandton station, and decided for the benefit of anyone interested to take a picture of one of the escalators to the station.

the platform for the airport is down five or six of these, which is probably quite exciting for escalator enthusiasts and almost certainly why the security guard advised me to rather take the elevator.

via the magic of blueberry phone messaging stuff i was able to send this picture to Michele. James was slightly interested in this, but asked if i could send a picture from the train too. i'm not the most photogenic, i have little in the way of skill in taking a self portrait and the blueberry camera is not the best or most flattering thing on earth, but i was happy to have a go at this request.

as it turns out, though, i was "silly" to send the above picture. James wanted a picture of the actual train, not one of me sat on it. well, the platform was rather busy, and i always feel somewhat suspect trying to take random pictures in the presence of rather tastily armed security staff, but i took one that James was considerably more impressed with.

i have to say, from my first experience, the Gautrain is magnificent, and i cannot wait to ride on it again. The price of the ride, currently R105 to the airport and that much again back, is truly insignificant compared to the benefits - no battling the roads and traffic, no parking issue and no parking charges. it takes about 12 minutes to get there too. ace!

now, for what reason was i at the airport today? Dad had told me that, as you get out of the train and go down some more escalators, there is an absolutely massive KFC there. this, as most things a father tells a son i suppose, is quite correct. it is excellent. the KFC there has an image of The Colonel almost as big as the average house.

i know you want to know what i had there. well, i can do better than that and show you. and indeed tell you - a streetwise two and a snack burger.

sorry that picture isn't the greatest. i was concentrating a bit too much on some random tourist who grabbed the first black chap walking past and asked him for some pronunciation advice for certain words in his Zulu phrasebook. it was rather optimistic of him to assume that he would speak Zulu (we have a dozen languages here, please note America), and interesting that the words he was struggling with were all offensive slurs, ones that i am not inclined to repeat here.

oh, yeah, nearly forgot. other than the KFC, the reason for my visit to the airport was to pick up my good, longstanding friend Mike, who i have known since, what, 1983 and have not seen for several years!

he is over here on "business" as usual, but this did not stop us enjoying a pint and a curry as we watched some football highlights and discussed several things, hotel porters in Felixstowe in particular. his fatigue from such a long flight did, however, stop us, but we shall no doubt resume tomorrow.

erm, i have somewhat rashly posted this pic up over on the grand social network, with the comment that it is us celebrating our 29th anniversary. this, it seems, might have led one or two to assume our relationship is a good deal more involved than it actually is. although we have in fairness slept together a good many times over the years - a few times in various locales around Europe, but mostly in his bedroom at his Mum & Dad's when we were kids as they always let us stay up late to watch old Hammer Horror films on a portable black and white TV. well, I watched them, Mike normally fell asleep after a good, long, hard go at some sort of game on the VIC-20 or similar. beyond that, other than an incident where Mike had to hold me up in a shower and feed me headache tablets a couple of hours after an ill-advised drinking binge in Felixstowe and a couple of hours before a wedding, not much else to confess to, sorry!

no doubt Dad will take a few more "proper" pictures which i shall try and put here of the two of us. there is no doubt because he told me that he would be doing this.

hope you've all had an interesting and indeed good Saturday!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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