Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mind the gap!

Today I travelled on the new Gautrain, Jo'burg's rapid rail project, from Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport. Anybody who's ever travelled on the London Undreground, the Los Angeles Metro, the Paris Metro or the New York Subway will have noticed the similarity to Jozi's new system. It really is world-class, opened just in time for the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Of course this has absolutely nothing to do with music, but I just have to comment that it really is helping turn Jo'burg into a world city. It's wonderful to see the tourists all piling on with their bags on the way to the airport. Of course, there are other parts of the city that are not so world-class, like their crappy billing system for water & lights. But for once, I am proud of the city I grew up in, and it really is a thrilling time to be in SA. I'm proud of my country on occasion. This is one of those occasions. Well done to all concerned.

Now my big question is: will we see buskers at the stations, peddling their musical wares, like we see in London and New York? As Katie Melua says, it's a rite of passage for a musician - but it requires such guts! I remember doing it for a few years at The Zone in Rosebank. Bleak days, with little money, but man I had such fun. A very cool guy at the Musica store in Rosebank said to me one day, "You lend such an air of class to the joint" (I used to stand and sing musical theatre numbers). Wow! Be still my enormous ego! Thank you sir.

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