About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

16 December 2009

Coming Home

Part classical, part jazz and part gospel; Coming Home is a production by South African composer Isak Roux, which played last night and this afternoon at The Joburg Promusica, in Roodepoort. The production, was effectively a story of a young man who leaves his home to seek his fortune and his journey back when his dream crashes due to a depression in his adopted country. I suppose the story is very topical; but to be honest the story was not very awe inspiring - just a glue and reason behind the musical pieces.

The musical pieces were mostly adaptations of traditional works; but it was the amazing amalgamation of different musical styles that really made the performance worth it. The bedrock of the performance was a full classical orchestra (which featured many members of the JPO); complemented by the Chamber Choir of South Africa, a jazz band and soloist singers (a baritone, a tenor and a soprano). The Soprano, Sibongile Mngoma was particularly brilliant. Another notable highlight was the inclusion of traditional African instruments as part of the ensemble - such as the marimba and the pennywhistle.

It was a very different performance - a lot less formal than the JPO, and a lot more accessible. The audience was also a lot more varied - in terms of race and age group - and the performance was a lot more inclusive.

I don't know if there are further performances (A Google search revealed that it was also performed last year at the Johannesburg City Hall); but it is definitely worth it.

15 December 2009

Best seat on the plane?

For the past 6 weeks, I have contributed a fair amount to global warming through my air travels. I have been on stand-by twice (incredible considering my seats are supposed to be guaranteed) and have also been upgraded to business class twice (although these are not that special on the Cape Town - Jo'burg trip :p).

Last night, was one of my upgrades, to Seat 2D which is basically the first full row on the plane. On the Airbus 330 (in the SAA configuration), this means that I had a business class seat, with massive leg room. In SAA's configuration for economy class on local routes, Seats 11A and 11C, are the best seats - business class seats, and legroom for the price of economy; followed by 12C - economy class seat with massive leg room. And although overwing exits are favoured, they do not lean back (since it would cause blockage in an emergency) - but BA's configuration on certain 737 flights, means that 10A and 10F also have massive leg room; and are definitely good seats for economy class.

So, I wonder, has anyone ever made a list of the favoured seats across multiple airlines (and their respective seat configurations)?