Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poor man train

Despite that Cape Town Station holds hardly any notion of romanticism for me, I am a lover of trains, stations and train journeys, even to Bellville 22km away.

It's a typical Cape winter's day here... alternating between dripping then misting with rain, The Mountain is lost in thick fog, as are the taller buildings.

For my sins I'm on a train to Bellville with some crappy McDonald's coffee.
While I adore this weather, my mind wanders to and wonders about my life in Salt Rock, up the coast north of Durban, a year ago.

This is normally a wonderful time to be in KwaZulu-Natal; it's that endless string of autumnal champagne-days that I miss so much, and thought were going to be part of my life forever. Before Cape Town cracked the radar screen; not that you'll find me complaining.

It was almost exactly a year ago, last week, that I flew back to Durban from here. I'd heard on my way to Cape Town International that my university interview had been successful,  but depended on final Senate approval.

Not even in my craziest dreams could I have predicted that 12 months later I'd be hesitantly sitting on torn dull-gray and putrid vinyl seats in a garish yellow, gray and blue train mustily reeking of urine...leaving Cape Town station on MetroRail's neglected central line; because poor people don't really matter despite all the hot-air PR to the, um, contrary. Especially in a country of cars. And that I'd be alive, my nerve-ends singed in a fiery ink pot of joie de vivre and personal freedom. 

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