An Early Memory of the Train

  Transportation has advanced greatly since I was a child. The first ten years of my life, I grew up in Xiangtan China, the hometown of a well known Chairman Mao Zedong. I did not learn this until after I had left the country. The main form of transportation for my family and I was by train. Only wealthy families owned pickups, three wheeled cars, and other types of vehicles. Due to the low class my family were, we did not have the luxury of a family car or bikes. As a young girl, my father would take me to visit relatives some distance away in the same town by train. Other times, if we visit family close by, we would walk the trip. Personally, I preferred traveling by rail. This way, I got to meet people from all over the place. Nevertheless, the meals on board tasted amazing. One of my favorite things to order was a carton full of rice and stir fried vegetables. I remember the cart lady who never failed to keep a smile on her face as she passed each cabin while offering food to those who were boarding the train. There is nothing better than riding a train. As my father and I waited patiently to arrive at our next destination, I would look out the window to see friends greeting each other to children pleading their parents to get on the train. I would observe all the faces passing by with expressions of joy, laughter, and even sadness. I have always admired those who traveled with a big family. As the train charged on away from the people, the only view was farmland and brick houses that were both ancient and new. Whenever I hear a train passing through nearby carrying cargo, it would remind me of my childhood. For the sound of the railroad brings back so many memories that I wish I could relive one more time.