No trains past here anymore

23 06 2011

I’d stopped just off the main Mutare road on Monday on my way back from a weekend in Mutare to investigate where the gearbox oil was coming from that I’d noticed on the back window of the Landcruiser. While I was checking out the leak on the differential seal a pickup truck stopped and and oldish guy with a strong Afrikaans accent asked if I was OK.

We got chatting and I mentioned that I was surprised that there were any white farmers left in the area.
“Ja, but there are not many of us left now” he said. “I went to John Cowie School here” he continued. (This is a junior school in the nearby town of Rusape.) “I was a sporty type” he continued, warming to the subject. “One year I won the 100 yards, the 220 yards, the high jump and the long jump. And there was this big cake too you know. It was the prize for whoever won the pellet-gun shooting and I won that too! So they decided I should got to school in South Africa. Three days and two nights it was on the train to Bloemfontein” he continued. He paused for a moment and then said “But we don’t see the trains come past here anymore”.

We chatted on for a bit about people we knew and I introduced him to Kharma and we discussed dogs for a while. “Hey, just remember I live just around the corner if you need any help” he said on parting. His pickup truck rattled and bounced off down the road and I got back to the oil leak.

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2 responses

26 06 2011
Big Blister

Not even freight trains?

26 06 2011
goneXC

I think he was exaggerating a little or just remembering the days when catching a train was a normal thing to do. Having said that I haven’t seen a train on the Mutare-Harare line for a very long time now.

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