Monday, January 16, 2006

July 23rd 2003

I have a story I wanted to tell about when I was on vacation. My buddies and I were catching the train. I have not really been to experienced with traversing longer distances on a train before this so it was all new to me. I have to say I like it a lot. Far as I am concerned travel by train is a top-notch way to go. Two of my friends and myself were assigned a sleeping compartment. Now it was not very big but it had a small table for eating or playing games on and some sleepers that folded down that we could get rest on. So for on a ten hour ride instead of basically being confined to one seat with my seatbelt on much like a bus, automobile, or car I was free to sit at the table and eat food I brought, walk up and down the cars to the restaurant car or to the bathrooms. I could sit with my legs stretched out talking to my buddies or even lie down and sleep the hours away. It really is to me a cushiony way to travel it reminded me of traveling across the miles in my grandparents motorhome when I was a kid.
So it was on this one train ride when it was late. My friends had gotten some drinks and we were sitting around the table while they were drinking and talking. It came to get late and we all went to sleep. Next thing we heard was a large pounding at the door and yelling. We had no idea what the guy was saying as he was not speaking in English but we had an idea it had something to do with us getting up. My friends and myself were not to quick to get up but we did. After a short bit of communication we finally got someone that could speak English. They asked for our tickets and I just so happened to have them in my back pocket. I handed them over and at this point the guy told us that we had missed our stop. Not only had we missed out stop but also we missed it by a lot! It seems we were supposed to have gotten off the train some couple hours earlier and we definitely had to leave then. The whole train was delayed as words were being exchanged between my buddies and the conductor. We were dazed and he was a little confused on how to handle the situation. We were kicked off the train in basically the middle of nowhere. We almost even made it to a whole nother country. That would have been even funnier. As it was we got dropped off in some place in the middle of the night where we were basically just stuck. We did by sunlight find some one that was able to give us directions to a near by highway where we were able to get a ride on our way. We finally did make it to Swaziland that morning although a different area then what we first intended and it ended up being alright after that incident later on in the day when our bus broke down and another one had to be sent to pick us up as we were again stranded in the middle of nowhere. I am enclosing a picture I took later on in Swaziland in a cattle coral and a picture of some of the peace corps sitting around watching a moving at the Peace Corps transit house in Maseru which is where we stay when doing medical or office business. The T-house as it is called is another story. Love ya’ll, Jeff


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