I happen to believe that most of you are better readers and researchers than I am, mainly because you are more dedicated to this practice. Me, well, I’m too busy getting up to no good, not that my mischief harms anyone. I like to amuse myself and take a wild sided view of life. I’m no clown, but I like to see people laughing, and when there’s a frown on anyone’s face, my sardonic and dry sense of humor seems to take over as though it was willed by its own mind.
Am I making sense? Anyway, while I generally do enjoy talking nonsense, today I thought I’d chat to you about a very interesting subject which you don’t often hear too much of these days. Or do you? Anyway, today I’m going to go back in time and tell you a little bit about how my fascination with trains began.
When we were kids, school was on the other end of town. At some stage during the first years of school, dad could no longer take us to school because of the unusual hours he had to work. So the family had to make a plan. Mom put us on a bus in the morning, leaving the conductor with clear instructions not to let his eyes wonder from us. The journey was at least twenty minutes long into the city. The conductor would usher us off the bus right at the train station.
Actually, I think he shoved us off the bus most times. Thanks to me, he couldn’t wait to get rid of us. The we soon became just me, because my brother started running away from school. He wasn’t naughty like me; he was more of a scaredy cat and couldn’t take the bullying from teachers and other boys alike. Anyway, so whenever I stepped off the bus, who would be standing there to grab my little hand. Why, big and strong and nasty granny.
But after several months, granny started to tire. The folks took a chance and let me travel all by myself. Hello world, look whose here. Big and strong me. Travelling alone left me feeling that the big wide world was mine for the taking. I felt so independent and free. Travelling home in the afternoon, I would deliberately miss my train so that I could make my journey last all that much longer.
In spite of the safety regulations to the contrary, I used to enjoy sliding the compartment window down. It was a bit of a struggle but I never gave up. Hair today, hair all over the place. I really enjoyed craning my neck out of the window and letting my locks stream back freely as the wind took hold of it. Although it was a safe distance, I used to get a great rush of excitement at dodging the next oncoming train.
The views were particularly charming too. In a short ride of no less than ten minutes, we must have passed at least six Burroughs every day. Feeling top of the world, I viewed people from a distance, powerless to stop me from speeding by. I think that it was only in later years when I had to travel upstate to college that I truly began to appreciate the train rides.
At that time, it was the only college that would take me. My grades were simply not good enough to get me into the schools of choice. I also did a stint at an out of state military academy. Yet another travelling opportunity and excuse to be on a long rail train. The military stint didn’t last. My rebelliousness and scant disregard for following ridiculous instructions soon, how shall we put it, got me booted out of camp. Long distance trips are the absolute bomb. You get to see the countryside and many different strange looking towns that look as though they were from another world in a different time zone.
As my fascination grew, I began to take a literary interest. It suited me just fine because I was studying English literature anyway. Now, when he made history by becoming the first so-called African American President, Barack Obama had social media. I say so-called because even he doesn’t believe in defining people by their race or color. Nevertheless, honest Abe only had horses and carts. The great president he was, he still got elected anyhow.
But the great men that followed him all travelled from county to county by rail. And how did the great Mahatma get to know the country of his birth after spending many years in South Africa? Simply put, he jumped on board a train and saw the whole of India that way.