The Canadian years, rushing through the snow..

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 21 October 20:08


Canadian Pacific

My father was the last of the colonial tyrants, calculating with total control over any situation. There is something about people who are born in the colonies. A self-projected leadership, that would preceed them and fill a space announcing their presence. Outwardly reserved and never displaying any emotion. People, who to people outside of their circle, showed faces, hard and formal and distant. Now, after so many years  it still keeps me busy, what was my father really like? Where was the real father hidden? I think he had hidden and reserved that, away. My mother was a sweet Frisian girl who had fallen head over heels in love with my dad and saw in him an opportunity to lead a travelling and adventurous life, away from her rural village. She loved him unconditionally and was proud of him, she would have followed him to the end of the world and she did. You cannot blame  people for their nature or character. We were the ones who travelled along. We were not asked whether it messed us about. The covenant between my father and mother was all overwhelming and my father’s will was law. He had married the prettiest girl in his life, my mother, my sweet caring mother, who only wanted to see the world.


The colonial ruler stepped out of the cab and looked around himself and immediately got a few porters running towards him. How did he do it, I ask myself at times? Where I sometimes just about have to stand on a table to attract the attention of a waiter, but people always ran to my father and served him at his beck and call. The station building was impressively large and my dad just said to the front porter, ‘the train to Alberta.’ The men who, all day long, moved suitcases from taxis to trains, went without a doubt to a platform where a long silver colored train was waiting. Canadian Pacific was painted on the side in big letters. They put the stack of suitcases in front of a wagon with open sliding doors carrying a sign that read 'luggage'. Without as much as a second look at the men, my father gave them some dollars and they disappeared as if they had never existed. The great ‘Passcha’ with his entourage had arrived.

The cases were handed over and my dad got a ticket with a number on it, which he carefully put away in his wallet. ‘So,’ he said, ‘we still have some time before departure.’ The train would be leaving in a few hours, we found our compartment and went out again, we would spend long enough in the train. We walked around and looked at newsstands and my father bought some magazines. Our pocket money had been converted from Libyan pounds to Canadian dollars by my father. My brother bought some magazines and that made me decide not to buy any, I would read his, when he was done with them. My little sisters were strolling along with my big sister and looked in wonder at all the new surroundings that had come into their lives. Again.

I was the middle one of five children, I was the big brother to my little sisters and the little brother, to my sister and my big brother. It was a nice position. I balanced as it were, between two worlds. To the 'little ones' then, we were all caring and I loved them terribly. I told them many fairy tales just to please them and deep inside me I wanted to protect them against all that was evil in this world. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do that do that later in life when evil knocked at our door. I was different from the others, I knew that beyond the shadow of a doubt, I was more observant, which kept me alive in later years to come when all had gone awry. I was joined by the common blood flowing through our veins, but now looking back, I realize that I began to be critical without giving it a name.


The heavy diesel locomotive gave a short snort, and black soot plume rose above its chimney. It was not yet time to leave. My father saw us look and explained that a diesel first always has to warm up before you could put it to work and boy, would this diesel work in the coming days. It had a seemingly endless row of wagons behind it and would run from one coast to the other, covering a distance of 7,500 kilometer almost nonstop. It would only stop in the big cities, Engineers would get off, a new crew would take charge and after a shrill blow of the whistle, the road would be continued. A ding dong sound echoed across the platform and a mechanical voice announced that West bound passengers were expected to board the west coast Canadian Pacific train. People now gathered in clusters in our direction and we walked to the compartment which we already knew was ours, from our earlier exploration. The shrill whistle blast hurt your very ears and came unexpectedly just the same. The train shuddered and when the locomotive won from the gravity holding her back, the silver snake started moving. When we left the station, the whirling snowflakes came down to meet us.

also read trainride through Canada

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good having you back friend
Hi there Baywatch, I am glad to be back..alive and kicking