How many memories can one postcard from Scotland bring? How many waves with a hand from the window is this card from /u/DavesCardousel worth?
It reminded me of a trip when I was young. It was 2005, and I was 9 years old. I was going to a summer vacation with my grandparents to their village, Demir Kapija, which is far from Skopje some 110 kms. We were going by train.
I still remember the morning like it was yesterday. A 9-year-old girl, so excited about the summer that’s coming, I was running around the house and smiling, and telling stupid jokes, and telling everyone to hurry up, because we might just miss the train, even though we have probably 6 more hours until then. I couldn’t eat, and I always ate. A lot. Time passed so slowly, and I couldn’t do anything else then wait.
We went there finally, and I saw all the trains arriving and leaving all the time. It was so magical. All the locomotives doing those loud sounds that made me look with my eyes wide open. With my backpack on me, I was running from one side, till the other, catching the looks of people, looking people hugging each other, love birds waving at each other, wet shirts from wiped tears, a lot of promises that they’ll see each other soon. I saw it all. I saw a girl crying because her loved one went with that train. I could see it in her eyes. She hated the train. I know she did. I saw parents hugging each other as they saw their children leave. They hated the train too. Trains often mean goodbye. That’s why we hate them so much. But trains also mean new beginnings. And that is why I love them.
The trip to Demir Kapija was a brand new beginning for me. Three months to a place that I knew, but never spent more that a weekend there. Three months without my parents, and three months without my friends from school. It scared me, a lot, but I knew I’d love it. I sat inside, and there were three girls from abroad, going to Athens. One of them was sleeping, the other one was at the window, waving at people, and the third one I loved the most. She was coloring something in a coloring book. She was so uninterested in the other people. She was lost in her own world, and I saw myself there. I didn’t know much English then, I only knew a couple sentences, so I told her my name and age, and she told me hers too. I asked her in Macedonian if I can color too, and she looked me without being able to understand. I think she saw my eyes sparkling when I looked at the coloring book, so she just handed it to me. I couldn’t describe how happy I was. I started immediately, and lost myself. After a while, I stopped and she was sleeping, so I just putted the coloring book and pencils on the table on the sides, and went to see through the window.
Oh the nature my country hides… The green fields, full with grass, and the yellow fields with corn and wheat. I loved it. I was looking with my eyes wide open, I didn’t want to miss a single thing. Horses eating in the fields, donkeys and cows too. The river Vardar on the side too. I loved the wind going in my face, blowing my hair behind. I laughed so much. And I loved it. I knew then, that this summer would be great.
The girls, I never saw them again. I don’t even remember their names, except for the one with the coloring book. Una or Tuna… I know I might see them again, and never recognize them. And that’s okay. That’s a part of the destiny train trips bring. And that’s why I love them. Because at the end of the day, it’s not the name of the people that matters, but how they made you feel.
David, thank you!