A Short Look At #Travel in the Bible

Some of us are just adventurers, seemingly born to travel. I am incurable and it only ever is monetary considerations that manage to curb my movements.

Paul traveled a lot and I think he would have been a pukka travel blogger in this day and age. Imagine how many followers he would have had on social media, what great photos he would have posted to Instagram. Or Jakob, Isaiah, Abraham, last but not least, Jesus.

How wonderful, then, that some 44 bloggers recorded some stirling travel adventures over a period of 1,500 years, for us to follow in the footsteps of great personalities who had gone before us? I think they are greater influencers, even to this day, than any of us can dream to be. As much of their writings still lead people to travel from all over to see Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Judea, the Dead Sea but also Cairo and the rest of Egypt. Greece, Turkey, Rome – these all benefit from great travel blogging done thousands of years ago.

It is amazing to see how travel writing can lure someone into packing that luggage and boarding a plane, ship or train. Or to go on an extensive roadtrip.

Am I right when suggesting that the travel writer follows an esteemed, ancient profession?

Advertisements

Rent Your Own #Metrorail Coach

You can charter your own coach or even a whole Metrorail train!

This, of course is great for educational purposes as schools do make use of this facility regularly. Also ideal for social functions such as birthdays, weddings, church activities or even corporate events such as team building, year end functions or conferences.

The service is available from 9am – 3pm and must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

Security Guards are provided and we can also provide guides!

A favourite route is the scenic Southern Line from Cape Town to Fish Hoek, as depicted here. Or visit Strand, Stellenbosch or a wine farm in the Boland.

All you need to do, is to determine how many passengers you want to bring along, as well as a date. Then contact me on traintours@outlook.com and I will send you a quotation.

We can even assist in arranging meals at some great restaurants, mountain hiking, museum tours – you tell me what your needs are and I help you meet them.

Don’t delay, do this today!!

SATAWU COMMENDS NEW PRASA EXECUTIVES FOR SWIFT ACTION

South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) commends newly appointed executives at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) for the swift manner in which they dealt with problems on the Western Cape’s Central Line last week.

Prasa’s newly appointed acting Group CEO Cromet Molepo and acting CEO of Rail Mthuthuzeli Swartz moved swiftly this week to form a steering committee after a vandalised section on the Central Line caused a test train to derail. The train was testing the line in preparation for re-opening after service was suspended for a week following the murder of a security guard at Chris Hani station, Khanyelitsha.

A day prior to the derailment, Molepo and Swartz had convened a meeting of stakeholders including SA Police Service (Saps), labour unions operating within Prasa, SATAWU and Untu, and other interested parties. In that meeting, stakeholders agreed to restore service to the line which caters for commuters from Khayelitsha, Philippi, Mitchell’s Plain, Bishop Lavis and Langa. As a result of the meeting, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be signed between Prasa and Saps to reintroduce railway police to safeguard commuters, employees and rail infrastructure, Molepo said.

But unbeknownst to those attending the meeting vandals had cut out section of copper wire on the line subsequently causing the test train to derail.

Unruffled, Molepo and Mthuthuzeli went to assess the damage the next day (Thursday) and later held another stakeholders meeting where a steering committee comprising representatives of Prasa, Saps, labour unions and their federations Cosatu and Fedusa, and the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) was formed to address the various challenges facing the rail agency in the Western Cape.

SATAWU commends Molepo and Swartz for putting in place stringent security measures on the line – something SATAWU in the Western Cape has been calling for since 2016. Sadly, our calls fell on deaf ears, as Prasa regional management refused to act even after Saps offered new recruits to reinforce security on the Central Line. To date those new recruits were never assigned to protect the Central Line, which also happens to be the city’s busiest. The recruits were, however, posted on the Southern Line which services the predominantly white affluent suburbs, leaving commuters on the Central Line, which runs along less affluent parts of the city to endure criminality daily.

Given Molepo and Swartz have already set the standard, we expect them to continue delivering. We therefore call on them to address the historical imbalances regional management has so far been happy to perpetuate and ensure that railway police are proportionally assigned based on need.

We also call on Swartz, under whose direct authority rail falls, to address overcrowding on trains.

SATAWU looks forward to working together with these two executives as they continue the hard task of turning Prasa into an entity that provides safe, reliable and affordable transport service to millions of South Africans.

For media queries or to arrange an interview contact:

Jack Mazibuko
Coordinator SATAWU CEC Task Team
+27 51 813 9025

OR

Zanele Sabela
SATAWU Media Officer
+27 11 403 2077
zanele@satawu.org.za

It Is NOT #Metrofail

People vote for your future and mine, they make choices based upon opinion and not fact. This is what scares me about democracy – that reason sometimes have to yield so that delusion may flourish.

Free speech is a right, not a duty. It has to be used with circumspection.

Human nature is to be negative, destructive. It takes civilization, evolution, self-control, not to become destructive savages. Some people are just that – savage, if only with the tongue.

Discrimination abounds, one fifth of the nation live with some form of disability or another and suffer a most terrible silent discrimination.

If all were of a specific race, would that still have been the case? Yet a top provincial leader openly used them as a political pawn and went on to call me “clueless” on Twitter. So I proved her wrong and did the job she was called upon to assist with. Former Minister Dipuo Peters, Prasa ACEO Mthura Swartz shone in reaching out to the forgotten, voiceless sector of the community. They stepped in where the private sector, in this case the Golden Acre, dismally failed.

So much for the Prasa critics. It is so easy to gang up the Earl September and Brett Herron, even Helen Zille, way and be outspoken hypocrites. To such, I say: get your act together as you are part of the problem and by no margin a way to a positive outcome.

Show some real, pro-active leadership and be selfless.

It was easy to be oblivious, to not seem to notice, to allow harm to be done while looking the other way. Terrible leadership, whitewashed with a sudden zeal to prosecute the perceived offender into submission. Failing to realise who the victim is. Just another proof that discernment is in deficit at the top.

It would take a commoner without any social standing to see truth.

Central government’s disinvestment over three decades, their passivity in funding and protecting our essential services, was followed by an arrogance at provincial and government levels. When it was time for leaders to employ the troops when #FeesMustFall or #RhodesMustFall spilled over, resulting in arson, sabotage, looting and common vandalism, they remained mum.

The hooligans found unexpected support in the form of passive onlookers who seemed blissfully unaware of the micro civil war raging between the lines. Railway lines.

When these leaders finally woke up, it was to beat all and sundry going by the name of Prasa, fiercely into submission. Did they ever realise that it were their own communities, not even Metrorail, that were the real problem? That they gave licence to this radical culture of destruction by being passive onlookers, or just even just passive. For onlookers are prone to notice.

Society follows the bad examples set by said leaders and influencers, then replicate. Negativity abounds in the city of Whineberg.

Did Zille, De Lille, Herron or September bring forth anything constructive, did they bring positive news of rebuilding our railways?

No! They want to take control yet cannot even properly manage their own heavily subsidised, often-failing service. Perhaps if Brett Herron sees in the blind spot of his own Jo-Hari window, the beam my be less obfuscated.

I have on good authority that tabloid “journalist” cum activist Earl September travels on a FREE monthly Metrorail ticket but bites the hand that feeds him. It is disgusting to see how a journalist can harass, pester, to get attention drawn to himself. It reminds of the transport manager with toilet paper holding his buses together.

People make public displays of their own importance. If only they were as diligent in getting a real stitch of work done.

If people took themselves out of the equation, did not try to score political points but really attempted to benefit society through fair and just, also diligent, service delivery, perhaps we could see a turnaround in Prasa, especially in Metrorail.

We are South Africans. We, not government, own all national assets. These are given to government to manage on our behalf. Political leaders are public servants whose duty it is to manage our communal property for our benefit. They are servants, not masters. The aforementioned, egotistic “leaders” are in positions well above their pay grade. I have, in the past, proposed to them the idea of leading by example, in showing others how to resign.

Meanwhile, we have basic and essential needs to address. Cape Town has 700,000 commuters to transport every day. That equates to 8,750 buses, yet absolute idiots even in leadership positions ask Metrorail: “Why don’t you provide buses instead?”

Imagine that. A magic wand and abra kedabera, 8,750 buses appear instantly. Of course, in the minds of the delusional free speakers, this won’t affect the already congested roads at all. This kind of logic reminds of the travel guru who said that Voëlvlei was 500m deep.

Such people vote for your future and mine. Such people become public servants by the grace of such votes. A few instantly morph into despots, dictators, autocrats. Who gang up instead of teaming up.

So, can we fix Metrorail?

Loot the stores of Shoprite every day, kill their staff, set their stores on fire. How long will you have food?

Metrorail is still providing a rail service, despite rolling stock badly vandalised, staff constantly having to duck to avoid being hit by flying objects, verbal or material. A tenacious lot, these Metrorailers.

There is a spark left, kindle it, nurture it, bring it on, let the fiery passion of the #RailLoveRevolution grip your heart.

Stand up for Metrorail.

Stand up for what is yours.

Two Oceans That Are Not #CapePoint

Ever since I was a small kid in the 1960’s, I knew where the two oceans meet: at Cape Agulhas, close to the famous lighthouse there that resembles the one at Alexandra, Egypt. 

Even so, this morning which is October 10, 2017, some gent writes on Twitter that “Cape Town is the only city that sits on both Atlantic and Indian Oceans.” If ignorance is not fueling the myth, it is the greed for tourist dollars.

Having done quite a few forensic audits in my life, let us follow good protocol and let the facts speak. What does the evidence say? 

FACT ONE – NO VISIBLE CONVERGENCE

One cannot see where two oceans meet, at least not with the naked eye. Videos trying to “prove” this on YouTube is a bit delusional in that it can, at best, display where the polluted waters from False Bay meet the open ocean.

FACT TWO – WHY FISH HOEK’S WATER IS WARMER

Two currents run along the coast of Africa toward Cape Town, one being the Mozambique current which is joined from another to form the Agulhas current. This brings warm water at a speed of about 5 nautical miles, 100km wide and 3,000 m deep, to a point far south of Agulhas. This point fluctuates as no ocean current is fixed. 

The other current is the cold Benguela current on the west coast. Where these two meet, it forms a gigantic “whirl pool” which spews warm water out at Fish Hoek, explaining why the water there is nice to swim in. This intermediate current sometimes run as fast as 43km/h!

FACT THREE – INTERNATIONAL BORDERS

It was confirmed in writing by the Chief Hydrographer of the SA Navy, Captain Kampfer, now retired, that the two oceans meet at Agulhas. He gave me maps of the oceans to show the demarcations.

FACT FOUR – DIFFERENCE IN OCEAN LIFE

Marine fauna and flora on the other side of Agulhas differs from that on the Atlantic side, even the abalone is different. The only thing truly Two Oceans in Cape Town, the Aquarium, will show you what the two marine habitats look like.

Estate agents, tour operators, as well as many others, live in some sort of dark place where people believe without questioning and learn without knowing. Even in the funicular station at Cape Point, one can see a map where it is very clearly stated that Cape Point is NOT where the two oceans meet and that the meeting place is at Agulhas.

20ceans

 Also, bear in mind that all of the earth in reality has only one ocean; how we name it, does not change that. It is one huge system. 

Whimsical #blogging

I grew tired of the typical 10/10 bikini bodies, perfect sunshine, no wind, everything so picture perfect and totally different from what tourists actually experience. The jet lands in Johannesburg instead of Durban as there was terrible wind shear, the Greyhound is still stuck at a STOP/GO on the N12 while even the delayed PremierClasse is gracefully steaming in along Platform 24.

The MyCity bus MyConnect card goes corrupt in between stations, People walk and the bus is transporting thin air. The hydraulic doors break a Swedish tourist’s arm. At City Sightseeing, beggars harass tourists waiting on the Red Bus and at Mojo’s someone’s purse, mink coat and R18k iPhone finds a new owner.

“Life happens. Africa is a tough country.”

I am trying to bring reality home, trying not to be a tourist brochure or a voice on PA system but someone who share actual experiences with prospective visitors, so that they know what to expect. Here is the blog post, please read & comment there, guide me if you thing I am losing it.

https://awethentiqtravel.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/hoarsewhisperer/