business travel, baboons and the world cup final

being massaged by a chair is a good way to prepare for a long flight, it turns out

welcome to my watchpeoplejump world cup final special, in which you will find out a lot less about the atmosphere in south africa before the world cup final than you want, and hear a lot more about the minutiae of business travel than you can have possibly desired.

starting with this – did you know that you can get a really rather good massage from a chair nowadays? thanks to the chairs in the swiss air business lounge, i prepared for my 15 hour flight with a thoroughly relaxed spine.

this is great as well, because the one problem with massage is the moment of personal awkwardness. i think it is time to design a machine that takes away that terrible moment when i have to try to describe my ideal salad to the very impatient salad tossers of new york.

anyway…i am generally an advocate of avoiding paying the 1000% premium attached to business class travel. but you can’t argue with the legroom.


however, all of this lovely legroom, and indeed the ability to turn a chair into a bed, is pretty useless if you can’t sleep. and unfortunately i ended up sitting next to a rather corpulent software engineer who whilst a lovely man in many respects had the most irritating snore in the world. it wasn’t just that it was loud, it was also highly unrhythmical, preventing me from convincing myself that it was as soothing as the roar of the ocean waves, for example.

from there to a series of minibus journeys. unremarkable apart from the fact that throughout i was sitting immediately behind CAMEROON LEGEND ROGER MILLA!!!! i know I am going to be accused of this not being real, but it is. but i’m english and i can’t bring myself to take photos of celebrities. so here is a photo i took of the south african landscape whilst sitting next to roger milla.

this photo was taken when i was literally one foot away from cameroon legend roger milla, but i couldn't bring myself to take a photo of him...

and here is roger milla if you don’t know who he is, doing what he is most famous for. most of the time he was with me, he was conducting telephone interviews with british newspapers. if you want to know anything about roger milla’s opinion about anything trivial relating to football, you know where to come.

since that point, i have been mainly in sun city, truly one of the strangest places in the world. it looks like it should have been built in the victorian era, and probably in india – until you get close up to the statues and pillars and realise that they are mainly plastic mouldings, and therefore could not have been built any time other than the 1970s.

sun city. much odder than this photo makes it look.

when you walk around the gardens of sun city, you wonder whether you should. there are many many signs gently discouraging you from doing so, or at least warning you to be on your guard. this is not because of the aviary, or the waterfalls, or the pvc elephants, or even the segway safari. it is because of the baboons. i haven’t seen one yet. but my co-traveller ivan claims they ripped his door off the hinges, ate all of his chocolate, and then put on his pyjamas and went to sleep (ok i made the last one up)

this is a very athletic pose to strike to feed a monkey, in my opinion

just when you thought it was safe to go in the garden

anyway, that’s nearly it for now. next time maybe i will tell you something about football, i kind of doubt it. one final note – sun city has been described as the las vegas of africa. i haven’t been to vegas, but i assume it isn’t that much like southend on sea. sun city is very like southend on sea.

and roulette is a stupid, stupid game. this guy was great though. i think he was gambling on almost every number every time. a perfect microcosm of futility. the house always wins.

no, no, i've got a system...

thanks, and as i say, next time i might tell you something about football. no promises though.



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2 responses to “business travel, baboons and the world cup final

  1. Everyone knows who Roger Milla is!!!

    Have you had the Roger Milla coke cola World Cup ad in the US during the tournament? It’s been the only decent World Cup ad on the TV here in Oz.

    P.S. Without trying to sound like a business class snob, if you want to sleep and can’t; being on a plane is hell even up the front.

    P.P.S. How did you get away with a photo in a casino. That normally goes down even worse than a photo of a celebrity!

    • explanation – the reason i was with roger milla is because i am here with coca-cola! that ad ran in about 100 countries…and representatives of pretty much all of them are in sun city with me.

      i sneaked the casino photo. but why is it so bad to take photos in a casino? if there is nothing to hide, why would it matter? there’s surely nothing sensitive about taking photos of a random process taking place…?

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