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Friday, February 11, 2005

On Trains, Togo Crisis, Radio

It felt like I was missing Belgium, so I decided to check out the latest music on Radio Contact, which remains one of my most favourite Radio Stations in Brussels. In fact, it's the only one I was listening to after years of switching from the sometimes-inane Bel RTL. 1992 to 1993 were my best times then for listening. After a while I got bored.

The reason why Radio COntact is so interesting for me is because of the care-free nature of the presenters. That rocks. Radio is that way...it's really the presenters that make it. Hence my love for BBC Four's flagship programme "Today", which you can find here: Today Programme. Hope the URL is correct...
Anyway, Radio Contact is going to be discussing -- not quite sure now, as the {Teen Page on Saturdays at 3pm on CITI-FM}streaming has just stopped.

But my point is simply that radio is my lifeline to the world. I sometimes prefer it to television, but it's when you're forced to watch tv--because it's there--that you think tv is indispensable...
Bottom line is that nothing is indispensable!! Anyways, going too existential here, so I will refrain and just try to get to the point.

I am still waiting for Radio Contact's website to load...but as I wait I gotta say this...
I called Juliet abt thirty mins ago; she wasn't feeling too well still. Hope she really does get better. Goot look better after my women! Nudge nudge wink wink!:-)) Thought of calling Mabel, but credits low. Also thought of Elaine, but decided to wait a bit. She's keen to talk to me, which can mean that she wants to reconcile. Apart from my contemplative bluff, I think I ought to give her time, especially because I think I still fancy the pants off her!! But must make sure I don't let on. I am simply over the moon that she was asking after me the other day, and hope great opportunities come out of it.
Yesterday...
I arrived home late around 8 pm or so after attending the meeting organised by the Institue of Statistical, Social & Economic Research {ISSER} University of Ghana, in collaboration with the Merchant Bank, Ghana Ltd. It was at the cooly-airconditioned hall of the British Council in Accra. The URL? British Council.org then you find Ghana, or Accra or something...
The reason why this isfeaturing at all has to do with the point that on CITI Business Edition this morning (7.05am to 7.30am GMT), was it St-Doe Tamakloe?? presented the thirty mins prog on privatisation, and he drew very heavily from the lecture yesterday, which included Dr.Sam Mensah {Chief Executove, SEM International Associates}, with the Chair: Dr.Emmanuel Akwetey, IDEG. This latter dude looks very young, considering all the things he has done: World Bank/UN/Doctorate in Sweden, etc..He was in at TWN-Af the other day. Apparently he did some work with them long before KGA came there.
Swell.
In any event, as per usual, I recorded the programme, along with some information about ECOWAS and its stance on Togo featured in the programme hosted by Paul Adom Otchere -- Inside Politics.
I prepare for Mankessim this evening as we will all be going tomorrow morning rather early, with me coming back on Sunday with PK--and Fenix too. My god, another strange song by Celine Dion on Radio Contact!!
Anyway, this just in from Expatica.com:
==================
Socialists wage class war on trains

10 February 2005
BRUSSELS – Politicians are calling on Belgium’s rail operator SNCB to scrap first-class train compartments.
The French speaking socialist party (PS) is preparing to make a case for the change before the Parliament in the next few days.
Karin Lalieux says rail travel can be made even more attractive by improving the comfort of passengers.
"Comfort is above all about being able to sit down while travelling," she said.
"Getting rid of first class would allow the increase of the number of seated places. In the short-term, by opening up first-class carriages to all, the SNCB could avoid those absurd situations where passengers are standing up in second-class while
first-class is half empty," she continued.
"It isn’t right that 15 percent of seated places are reserved for 3.6 percent of the customers," she added.
Lalieux also argued that it was safer to have passengers travelling sitting down.
Up until now, arguments for scrapping the class system in trains have fallen on deaf ears at the SNCB, which is cautious about getting rid of first-class passengers who pay 17 percent of the total ticket revenue.
Lalieux, however, dismissed those concerns, stating it was for similar reasons that the company initially refused the idea of cut-price tariffs which have finally boosted SNCB profits.
She said first-class customers wouldn’t abandon the trains and argued there were advantages to train running costs from making seating more flexible.
"The role of a public company isn’t to put in place discriminatory pricing in order to make a profit," she added.
Public Enterprise Minister Johan Vande Lanotte, whose party, the Flemish Social Democrats (SPA) also argues for scrapping first-class carriages, said he was very open to considering the PS proposals and discussing them with SNCB.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
=================
I couldn't agree more with the proposal, as I recall for several years that from 1996-2004 when I took train from La Hulpe (outskirts in Brabant-Wallon) to Schuman (EU institutions), the first-class seats were replete with people -- a scattering as it were -- from the European Parliament, and European Commission, plus a few wealthy business reps, whereas the average people -- make that around 80 percent of people were taking the second class, with people standing up packed like Sardines...

Oh well, just thought I'd post thi picture up from BBC news:

More on that, no doubt, later...

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