Text from Bonnie:
"Just arrived at Dove’s Nest after a Long day it seems. This is a real splurge ... thought about doing JoBerg Backpackers and had actually sorta decided “well why not try it” until the bus drove into the city a different way than before - longer - and that did it ...All I ever need to see of JoBerg!
Walked thru the street market to the train station again, had a helper - who of course wanted, and I’m sure Needed! - Baksheesh as before, arriving just about 5. Got ticket, Track 8 or 11. Went to 11, proceeded to wait about an hour, then local train came on 8, but not the special airport direct train as before, a local. Everyone went over to 8, and then sat there for at least another 30 40 min more. Another train came in on Track 9. A buzz among all the people (full train) ... then one or 2 went over to new train, then more, then mass exodus. No announcements for any of this. “Is this the train to the airport now?” Yes. Doesn’t look like before and no one has baggage “. Some shrugs ... “Sure this goes to airport? Yes, well ... not right To the airport, you have to walk a bit to it, but yes, this is the train. Meanwhile this letch of a man - who I decided after he got Really obnoxious (!) had to be an alcoholic who could hold his liquor well but still kept repeating over & over & over - started getting a bit mean and ugly when I told him I wasn’t going to talk anymore because he just kept saying the same thing over & over. My stop was the next one, he was getting off as well - not good, not well lit. I could tell the 3 men sitting opposite were a bit concerned also. When I got up and got off the drunk was right behind me, but the other men saw a young man going by and must have told him to look out for me because he walked over to me and Mr drunk disappeared. He walked me all the way to the airport, telling me his life story on the way. Really nice of him, and also really interesting - all about his family, travails with trying to find decent work, gambling ups and downs, even 4 mo in prison because he didn’t have enough money for the fine and his family relationships are kind of on & off (they clearly have some decent $ tho, specially the grandmother) and must have been off then cuz wouldn’t loan him the $. Yeah, I got all of this on the walk over - kind if a little glimpse into the life of a young male in S Africa. They were from a suburb between JoBerg and Pretoria. So one of those really a fascinating series of events that you could never plan! Turned out on Sun the soecial airport trains last run is 5:00 - I just missed it. But if I’d gotten it I would have missed that whole fascinating series of events!
Got to airport about 2 hours later than I’d guessed for Dove’s Nest pickup so went to info desk to ask them to call for me. Turns out DN now has a pick up coordinator AT the airport All the time & she’d been on the lookout for me. Yep, cush! And so now I have a wonderful “down day” tomorrow and till afternoon on Tues actually- my flight leaves at 7:10. Got my seats - had to pay some for one ... Emirates never did seat assign until online ck in started 48 hrs before the flight. But clearly that’s changed cus All the free aisle seats were booked on the first flight. Oh well - tickets were a screaming deal and still are even w/ seat."