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1Time last time

Cheap flights are great. For a couple hundred rand a person has the chance to zoom about all over the country. But cheap or expensive seats always have one catch that I try and bypass every time – waiting for your luggage at the end of the trip. This is fast becoming one of my top pet peeves. And a reminder to only pack hand luggage. Ever.

Flying with 1Time nourished this dislike of waiting. After twenty minues of waiting after touching down in Cape Town I was still wondering what happened to my luggage. The ever-present crew – on hand to handle any queries – said they thought the luggage truck hadn’t gone to meet the plane.

I can’t say this is the last time I’ll fly with 1Time, but it’ll make me thing twice. I normally fly with Kulula, South Africa’s original cheap airline, but Mango is alright – although only when the price is low enough for me to forget that it is owned by SAA. If you don’t know who SAA are, they’re a national airline company that’s proved to be a complete black hole for taxes, kept afloat to ensure doesn’t humiliate itself by admitting incompetence.

It routinely gets swindled by a new, flashier CEO after paying it’s previous fat cat out to try and introduce a business plan that doesn’t include cronism.

Pretoria. Jakaranda Stad. Diplomatic Capital of South Africa. Tshwane.

It’s the place for people with one foot in the Joburg rat-race to live. Most of the city lies to the east of the CBD and is suburban, with lawns, pools and other middle-class trappings. The town planners lined the streets with Jacaranda trees which ignite the city into a blaze of purple in late spring. What no one tells you is that in the middle of the Jacaranda-lined streets of the city lies the biggest zoo in the country.

It is massive. It stretches of 80 hectare, has thousands of species on display, active breeding programmes and contributes to research. The Pretoria Zoo takes itself seriously.

Some of the highlights
Koalas – these cuties have their own air-conditioned domes where they can munch on all the Eucaliptis leaves they want inbetween their 19-hours of sleep. The walkways are a story up so visitors can see them in their trees at eye-level.

Gorillia – 200kg of slumbering doormat is all i saw but the enclosure is excellent, the glassed off area giving you a private eye into his world reminded me of the 2 Oceans Aquarium‘s shark tank. More the expanse of glass and the quiet than the actual animal inside. You get my drift.

Red Panda – the makers of Chuckie have nothing on him. Like a live teddy bear this guy paced his enclosure, sniffed about and nibbled off a few things while I was watching. His name’s apparently Hobbit and it was his birthday the other day too, he probably recieved a block of ice with fruit frozen inside it as a gift. This I found out from the information boards on the sides of the exhibits – they are very organised indeed.

The tigers, lions, mountain goats, hippos, elephants, giaraffes not to mention every bird of prey you’ve ever seen or reptile or fish were also pretty spectacular. When you go be sure to take a picnic cause walking about builds up an appetite pretty quickly.

Psycho-cyclists

I’m going to feel real unique being in crowd of 35 000 people dressed up in lycra and perched on masochistically-hard saddles when the biggest organised cycling race in the world pedals out of Cape Town and around the Cape peninsula.

Trying to see if I could improve on my time from last year I went to check out the Split Time Calculator that the organisers have put up on the website. I was quite impressed that I could not only see which points I needed to be at and when simply entering my desired finishing time.

Clicking on the split times brings up a line in an altitude graph which shows you where you will be on the race, and a real sweat addition of opening up a Google Earth tag for that position so you can have a look at the road and conditions.

I have also recently reviewed a very true-to-life book on the 108km cycle.

If you’re interested, here is a rather cheesy official video about the race.

30k ft

Taken from Assemblage 23‘s “Storm”, 30k ft has to be the single most haunting song that I’ve ever come across (not to mention probably the most depressing).

Taking the form of a voice recording left by a passenger on a doomed aircraft on his lover’s answering machine, the tune manages to send chills up my spine every time I listen to it. Somehow, the synthesized/dehumanised voice manages to resonate even more deeply than it would otherwise.

Surfing YouTube the other day I ran across this amateur video compiled to the song. Honestly I was a little hesitant as to whether I should post the video or not as I think that the song deserves to be listened to, and you should pay attention to its lyrics. That being said I think that it’s done really well and adds a different element to the music, so here goes:

Buying a first suit

 

How many suits have you bought? The answer for me is easy. None. Searching for one is also a tricky business and, unless you’re loaded and get to walk randomly into Fabiani and hand over the shekels, you’ll want to look around.

 

The suit I wear will be for weddings, parties and times when it pays to look like everyone else and, as I have at least a couple of each option popping up this year, I am making like a scout and being prepared.

I popped over to Cavendish Square and walked into For Men Only and Gerani.

My wallet is telling me that the half price sale for March at For Men is a winner, but the heart is pining over the “straight from Italy” Super 110 wool on display in Gerani.

A great link I found for some tips for buying a first suit is from the soyouwanna site – www.soyouwanna…menssuit

Here is a video with various suit style options

Weird Unkle

Unkle, who at one stage counted DJ Shadow amongst its ranks, was one of those outfits that you’d normally run across on MTV at some arb hour and then find on your mate’s pc a few days later. And this is precisely what happened with this song – one of the most nostalgic memories that I have from my varsity days. You know, one of those that for some unknown reason carry with them a certain atmosphere that encapsulates what those times were all about.

I really have no idea why this is the case. It’s not particularly immediately relevant to anything, nor is it a song or music video that’s going to sweep all before it. That being said, Eye for an Eye does kick much booty:

Unfortunately I’m not overly familiar with all of Unkle’s goodness. However, I did run across this other gem (Lonely Soul) a few days ago:

Pangea Day

On May the 10th a host of cities around the world will combine for Pangea Day, where they will broadcast a program across the world designed “to use the power of film to bring the world a little closer together.”

Cairo, Dharamsala, Kigali, London, New York City, Ramallah, Rio de Janeiro, and Tel Aviv will all combine in a massive videoconference. Aside from the films that will be featured, a host of “power speakers” will be given the chance to address the world.

Taken directly from the site, the aim of the event is as follows: “Pangea Day seeks to overcome that (losing sight of what we all have in common) – to help people see themselves in others – through the power of film.”

However the event isn’t designed to merely be a feel-good flash-in-the-pan. Instead the organisers intend to use it to link its inspired audience with the active infrastructures that are already in place and are driving a positive change in community building. The event is designed to generate a lot of energy, and then rather than let it dissipate, channel it into sustainable and effective endeavours.

This is the viral video that has been distributed. Adding a slightly different slant to the iconic scenes from Tiananmen Square, the clip manages to powerfully portray the shift in perspective that Pangea Day hopes to achieve.

Part of my optimism for the world has been based on the proliferation of the media. Never before has humanity had so much perspective – so much opportunity given for independent thought. Pangea Day seems to illustrate all of that.

Here’s hoping that we’ll see much more of it in the days to come. Maybe someday events like this will become mainstream in nature.