metrorail (1)

METRORAIL is almost certainly run by someone who lost a dare.

Today the train just stood on the tracks for 20 minutes. People were going to be late, then very late.

I ran to the first Metrorail employee I could find. I asked her, “Should we keep waiting? Is the train going to leave?” ME1: “Maybe. They usually leave, in the end”.

I ran to the second Metrorail employee, who was stress-testing comfortable chairs near the Magical Ticket Turnstile. I asked him the same. ME2 said, with a sadness in his eyes, “Detach yourself from desire. What is the destination, if not a state of mind?”

I ran to the third Metrorail employee, who was having a thé dansant inside the blacked-out-but-glass-fronted Ticket Defaulters Office. Over the reel of the electric organ, she trilled, between dances, that the lateness of the train was a spiritual gift, would I only unwrap it.

I attached my elbow knives and ran through the crowd, past the high-definition visual ticket forgery discernment systems at the bi-directional turnstile, (a person on a chair, chin in hand, napping) to the ATM, where I paid R12 to withdraw R150 (because not my bank!) and then paid R130 for a private taxi which got me to Claremont in 12 minutes.

So, the entire urban planning profession is telling a little bit of a whopper about the trains. Trains work, the all-friends, but not Metrorail.

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About Brett Petzer

I'm a tomorrow-city planner, urban journalist and French-English translator, who is damn keen to hear from you at