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What a day!

2010-06-15 14:16
What a day! Shees...

I bought tickets for my wife and me for the Netherlands vs Denmark game long ago. Cheap tickets. Those in the corner at the top.

So, it was match day and I decided to leave Centurion for Soccer City at about 10am (kickoff 13:30). I got on the M1 and the traffic was abysmal. I decided Nasrec is a bit far so I took the Wits park-and-ride turnoff.

Well, 45 minutes to cover about 100m was no good news. Busses and cars everywhere.

Some street vendor gave me a park-and-ride info sheet and oh my word: I had to buy a prepaid parking ticket. I didn't know!

On the back there was a Metrorail telephone number and I remembered they have trains going to Soccer City. So, U-turn in front of some metro police and off I go to Park Station. On the way I phoned the Metro Rail customer care center.

What great service! The phone was answered in 1 ring.

The lady on the line gave me grave news though. The last train for Soccer City was leaving in 2 minutes and I was about 10 minutes away.

"No problem" she says. "I will take you to the taxi rank and help you find a taxi to Soccer City”. "Cool stuff!" I replied, but my wife's eyes weren't so sure. Unlucky for her, I was not going to miss the kickoff!

I finally get to Park Station, run into the building and there are sirens going off! "Soccer City train leaving on platform 12". My wife and I felt like we were on The Amazing Race! We managed to get on the train and about 20 seconds later the door slammed shut. It was that close!

The train was fantastic. Clean, fast, easy. Oh, and free! On route we marveled at the poor people stuck on the roads towards the stadium.

We got off at Nasrec station, right at the stadium. The station is really world class. Big information boards, a pleasant lady's voice telling everyone which trains are leaving and arriving on the public announce system and most of all, very clean toilets!

The game was great as well as the train trip back to Park station. We arrived in Jhb about 1 hour after the match finished.

So for all those people/news channels complaining about our public transport, our facilities, the possibility to host a world class event, I say... Unlucky for you, suck it up, lighten up or do whatever you have to do to start seeing our country the way the tourists are.

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