Sunday, October 20, 2013

and yet another train adventure

hi there

well, for some reason whenever i do a train post here it gets readers in the thousands. i have no idea why that is, and indeed confess that for all i know it could just be one person reading the same stories 2 or 3 thousand times, although you'd have thought they would have clocked to just save the page rather than visit it again and again.

anyway, it gives me much joy that one or thousands of you read anything at all on here, so if it is train adventures you want, that is what you shall have. i had something of a requirement to take a train ride once more, so pictures were taken, although sadly no Commodore 64 mode ones; i could not be bothered to take the iTwat along with me.

first things first, and here's the special bus for the train. one that i have not gone on as of yet, but certainly will do as it looks very exciting.

why is it exciting? well, other than it being really shiny, it seems to have a special set of immunity laws in place. red lights are simply ignored, and it turns whichever way the driver wants to go whenever the driver wishes to, not caring if it is in the correct lane to do so. other vehicles must simply just get the f*** out of its way, really.

funnily enough, very much in the planning stages at the moment is a post entitled twats of the road. this stems from a conversation with the CCP about "if them taxi things are as bad as people make out". the answer is yes, but there are far worse on the roads here too. will the class Gautrain bus feature? not sure, really, as there are much worse on the road.

anyway, the station was reached without the Gautrain bus thingie smacking me, and so it was onwards for a stroll to the train station proper itself. you will observe, no doubt, that i have gone for the 'cowboy' look once more - it seems this suggests itself as being suitable for train rides more than anything else in my wardrobe.

although the hat is obviously still the obligatory tribute to Reni out of The Stone Roses.

but wait, you say, how is it possible that i have a fuller picture of myself on this journey. did i ask someone else to take it? yes i did. was it a security guard or something? no it was not. on this journey i had that most rare and rather welcome of concepts with me, a co-pilot, as it were. except we did not pilot anything. well, maybe the car.

yep, my (considerably) better half went on this journey with me. actually, it would be more accurate to say that i went along with her, for the journey was of more relevance to her than it was to me. kind of. probably better to say that it was of mutual importance, but she rather than me was the essential presence on it. well, not on the journey as such but the destination.

i can see how that above could just go on and on without saying anything directly, so i shall rather let it stop there, instead allowing you to appreciate another image of me walking to the train station, as seen by my (considerably) better half.

how does my (considerably) better half fare or stand as a personal photographer? she is not really Trigger, to be honest. Trigger just took pictures as and when he thought it best to. with my (considerably) better half, i have to keep advising her on where and when to take pictures, and make sure she has pressed the button properly. she's not bad at it, i suppose, but there's margin to be better.

as both the blueberry and blogger handle video reasonably well, i thought instead of just another picture you all might want to have a look at a clip of the train in, as it were, action. well, when i say you all, i obviously mean everyone not using an iTwat to look at this.

for some reason the iTwat has that total sh!t browsing software on it, Safari i think it is called, and it is one that does not support playing video. class that is, here in 2013. iTwat users upset about this are welcome to direct their frustration to Apple, i really don't want to hear of it. for everyone else, here's that video.


yes, indeed it does seem to stop and then start again, as i pressed the wrong button. i think the wrong part of the video is just the tile thing they have on the floor, recorded whilst i tried to work out what the stop button was on the blueberry.

onwards to the train ride itself, then, and a glimpse of the excitement that my (considerably) better half had at being on this particular train ride. and yes, as far as i am aware, her shirt is supposed to be like that, but maybe it isn't and some bits of it fell off somewhere, i don't know.

this train ride was perhaps more exciting than usual since i got a call whilst on it. not really exciting for me, but for other people on the train. an idiot from an idiotic company called me about certain business affairs of mine. affairs that were nothing to do with them at all, but yet somehow they had managed to become an integral part of it. perhaps i will post that story one day, but not right now.

the call got exciting as the chap who had called me was rather clueless. he asked if i had a pen so i could take down a reference number. i said "no, i do not have a pen, and as i am on a train i cannot get one. you will need to sms [text message] me the reference number". this led to him very s-l-o-w-l-y reading out the reference number that i could not take down.

this led to me mentioning in the fact that he was a f*****g moron in an elevated voice, advising him once again that trains are not a natural place to obtain pens from. although actually, now that i think of it a few days later, i did in fact have a pen on me. it is just as well i was unaware of this at the time, however, for the reference number which came through on a text message later had little or no resemblance to what he was trying to read down the phone.

bonus if that episode made the trip a bit more lively for anyone else on the train, i guess. and if you would like a pictue of me on the train, here you go.

you have probably worked this out all by yourself around about now, but no there are no more video clips on this post. by all means just watch the one video clip again, if that's the most interesting thing for you.

normally i would be on the train to either Sandton or Pretoria. today it was almost the latter, but in a very real sense it was Pretoria +1, since we went to the end of the line and all the way to what is commonly known as "the Sweden of South Africa", Hatfield.

why is it called the Sweden of South Africa? i don't know that it actually is, to be honest. i just thought it up and things that i think up tend to be more interesting than the real counterpart, so that will do as a reason. for further clarification, does it feature a number of blonde, European looking people speaking in a peculiar dialect? yes, indeed it does. as a point of interest i know for a fact one or two indeed have the same sexual proclivities as one would find in Sweden, going on certain films, but what with me these days being, as my (considerably) better half informs me, an extremely happily married man i am unable to comment any further.

mostly, though, in my imagination, Hatfield is known as the Sweden of South Africa because it is leafy. when people think of Sweden, or at least think of a Sweden where such a thing as Abba, or Joey out of Europe, do not exist, the first thing that probably comes to mind is that it is leafy. if it were not leafy, Bjorn out of Abba probably would not have thought to do whatever the hell it is he did in Abba.

for clarification on this, here's one of them "distance" shots of the station; one that it is impossible to say whether it was taken in Hatfield or in some city in Sweden, except for the bit where i told you that i went to Hatfield and not somewhere in Sweden. i couldn't name a specific place in Sweden as there are no real place names as such - they are too busy doing Swedish things over there to worry about such specifics. a wonder, then, that their postal system works, indeed if it does.

my mate Woodsie really has an issue with Sweden, or at least he did just a little over 20 years ago. we were on our travels once and he just started shouting "you Swedish bastard" at any Volvo driver who happened to go past us. his anger was mostly about the fact that he decided Volvo drivers were in some way endorsing whatever raping and pillaging Swedish sourced vikings did several centuries ago, if indeed they did, since history is somewhat clouded on this front.

in retrospect, this harmless little bit of abuse aimed at Volvo drivers (i don't think we saw any of them Saab ones but we might have) probably opened the door of political correctness, one that stands open in expectation of everyone in the world now feeling a need to say sorry for everything that was ever done anywhere. an unexpected side affect or if you like effect.

righty-ho, the celebrated sign pointing the way to Duncan Street for you.

we had no business at all on Duncan Street, but as it is celebrated, i thought i would include a picture of it for you, since we were near it. you will observe, i hope, yet more of the leafy ways of Hatfield, underlining the idea that it is in some way the Sweden of South Africa.

i just did a google thing on trees in Sweden. it seems that they have different kinds of trees over there. they are trees, however, which feature branches and are indeed leafy, so i think the comparison works. Hatfield is very much its own place, of course, as in it is not a rip off of Sweden. but it is leafy.

for what reason is Duncan Street so celebrated? i do not know, and i suspect that it isn't particularly celebrated anyway. if it is, though, that picture is quite handy.

if we assume the above is all applicable for any other street signs then it will save me writing it all again. which will be handy with regards to the sign for Park Street East that you can see below.

we only happened to find ourselves on this road as a statisitical fluke, or if you like a slight misinterpretation of what does and does not constitute as the correct corner to take when going around the corner to be where you want to be. this misdirection, as it were, led to a couple of interesting things though. the first is visible in the picture above.

yes, that's a tyre place. we were actually discussing getting a new tyre whilst in transit to Hatfield, the "Sweden of South Africa". we didn't actually want to get one in Hatfield as such, but since we were there we considered it. what prevented us was that what we wanted the tyre for was not with us, and thus it would have been difficult to put it on. also, the Gautrain, as per previous discussions, is notorious for the draconian way things are banned off of being on the train. tyres probably features on that list of banned things, on the off chance that someone would try to eat one.

oh, and happy accident, look what just happens to be based on this street.

it is interesting that the Danish and Swedish Embassies are together, is it not? perhaps this is the first step in some unusual and unexpected unification of the two countries. the only thing i really know of either country is that Falco is not from either of them and a little bit about their porno, although quite a lot if we are honest. in respect of the latter, i would say that it looks compatible between the two nations. good luck to them, if they go ahead and merge Denmark and Sweden, and i very much look forward to seeing the films they produce.

as for what exactly drew me/us to Hatfield, other than the obvious Swedishesque ways of the leafy lanes, well, it is probably a matter best not discussed right now, and i imagine that it all involved one of them buildings where you can't take pictures or anything like that. so i won't do that. it certainly featured a place where x-ray equipment got a bit confused by an empty bag, believe me.

so if i just do a whistle and move on that above picture is not there, yeah? good.

i would suspect a few of you with a rather unusual outlook on life are probably lamenting the fact that as my (considerably) better half was with me there will be none of them "selfie" pics here. this is not the case at all, as this next picture shows.

i think that picture represents a lot of the leafy ways of Hatfield, except that the purple leaves of Hatfield are not visible. some of the trees are leafy, as you can see, whilst some are leafy leafy. quite a few of them are leafy leafty leafy, believe me. my apologies if my use of the correct agricultural terminology here has confused some of you, but if it helps then the more times you use the word leafy to describe a tree then basically that tells you how leafy it is. if this knowledge, i won't say wisdom, helps you at a later point, well then so much the better.

we could have stayed for a very long time indeed in the leafy wonderland of the Sweden of South Africa, this is true. however, we could not. the majority of our business in this fine place was conducted, and so it was time to depart. besides, we had business elsewhere, in particular with that complete and utter bellend who phoned me, the details of which you may recall from earlier in this story.

my (considerably) better half was, as this picture shows off with some distinct elegance if i say so myself, very happy indeed with the way things went on the trip.

the train ride back was less eventful than the one there, if indeed really any events happened at all on the first journey. i took a few pictures, but none were too interesting.

however, for the sake of it, and i have uploaded it now so it might as well stay here so please bear with me, here is a look at Centurion Cricket Ground.

a lack of phone calls did indeed make taking this picture with my blueberry quite possible. i probably should have taken a shot of that Loftus place too for the rugby enthusiasts, but it was rather far away from the train and i did not have my camera ready.

the question which seems to be asked the most when i do one of these train things is when will i next be doing one. an answer could be in about 15 - 20 days, but i am not sure. it may be sooner. now that i have tested the patience of the train as far as it goes in one direction, i may well take it in the other direction. not sure if i would go all the way to Park, but i might one day soon ride it as far as Rosebank.

Rosebank is a place i remember fondly as being full of complete twats, in particular in the shopping centres. however, as Sandton is now overflowing with total, complete and utter twats, i am rather interested to see if they have simply migrated from Rosebank or if it is that in some way they have simply multiplied and spread.

if i do take this journey of discovery, yes i probably will write of it here.

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

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