Business travel is fun, ne? Take Monday, for instance. Up at 4.30 in the morning, to drive to the airport (drive, because the blerrie Gautrain workers are on strike), attend two (good) meetings with the Western Cape government, go for a (very good) lunch at a brand new restaurant on Bree Street, then head back to the airport.
Only to find the traffic is crawling – reaching peaks, at times, of 4 to 6 km per hour. After an hour we have barely passed Groote Schuur Hospital. It is clear we are not going to make it in time for my flight (my colleagues are on a different flight, slightly later) so I phone the travel agent and change mine from 5 pm to 7. We get to the airport, dash inside, fly through security, and I get to the gate. Everyone has boarded, but the gate is still technically open. However, I cannot board because – go on, guess – I have changed my booking.
Ok. Deep breath. Look up at the screen showing upcoming flights. Scheize! My new flight is delayed 45 minutes, till quarter to eight.
Time to check in at the Slow Lounge, have a glass of wine, something to eat. Maybe a whisky.
It is after 8 when we climb onto the bus, after standing in line like bovines for 20 minutes, with no rhyme or explanation. When the bus gets to the plane, on the opposite side of the apron, the cleaners are still cleaning. So the bus doors remain closed, and we remain crushed together and standing.
We are on board, the doors are closed, and ready to push back. The captain comes on. Apologises for the delay – and informs us the starter motor at rear is not working, so they can’t start the engines. More precisely, they will use an external starter. No need to worry.
We are finally off into the cloudy night skies by about 8.40. I am home by 11.30.
Oh, and the reason for the long afternoon crawl out to the airport? Apart from the rain, which of course discombobulates everybody, there has been a taxi strike in Cape Town.
Much better to think of the art of making photographs. So here are two black and white images of my grandson, Tom, to distract you from the pleasures of traveling on business.
The strapline photo, of the geezer at the Slow Lounge window, overlooking the apron and the runway, was taken on my iPhone. He looks like I felt.