So the Gautrain hasn’t quite got its timetables sorted out yet. On the weekends it runs at half-hour intervals, but these intervals don’t necessarily coincide with the published schedule. Because of this I often arrive at the station about 20 minutes before the next train. The Gautrain station platforms don’t have seats. This is because the stations are modelled after European stations, and are designed to discourage vagrants looking for a place to sleep. This is despite the fact that the Gautrain is one of the most heavily guarded places in the country and is locked up tight at night, making it impossible for anyone without a ticket to gain access. This is also despite the fact that commuters have to wait up to 40 minutes for a train, whether they’re elderly or disabled or tired or drunk or whatever.
So I pass the time spent waiting for the train by walking up and down the platform, and occasionally climbing the stairs. I find this to be much more bearable than standing in one place, and it really seems to help make the time pass faster. The only problem is, the security guards hate it. They just don’t seem to understand it. It bugs the shit out of them. As example, I offer up the exchange I enjoyed today on the Hatfield station platform:
Security guard: Are you lost?
Me (incredulous at the idea of getting lost on a station platform): Excuse me?
Security guard: Did you lose something?
Security guard: Will you please go wait over there?
Security guard: So that you can be ready for the train.
Me: The sign says the train is expected in 9 minutes. Why should I wait that long over there?
Security guard: In case perhaps the train leaves in 5 minutes. (She really did say this. Her first language is not English.)
Me: Why would the train leave earlier than scheduled?
Security guard: Just go stand over there.
Security guard: So that you can relax.
Me: Is there some kind of rule against walking down the platform?
Security guard: No.
Me: Why are are harrassing me? Have I done something wrong?
Security guard: No.
Me: Good. Please leave me in peace.
This happens often. I really really hate the Gautrain.