Pictures of a postcard (1)

‘A private conversation in time’

To begin this new feature with; an old and battered postcard and nothing to do with Southeast-Asia nor Thailand or it must have been the dream of a train running along the coastline of Koh Samui.
The St. Andrew’s coast on the isle Barbados and a mixed train on its way but for long not any further than the picture shows. Before this card came into the collection I even wasn’t aware of any railway existence on this isle in the West Indies. In the early sixties when I was young and a sailor, we did those crazy cruises out of New York with Americans on a rather expensive leisure tour into the Caribbean. The famous Holland America Line and the classic ‘SS New Amsterdam’. Many isles I have seen though some of them from the anchoring spot only. Unfortunate I can’t recall if I ever set foot ashore, however, the railway by that time must have been abandoned because railway matters are still a vivid memory. This card was sent to a family with the name Dekker in the Dutch Indies, a stamp of the receiving post office told; December 12th 1905 and was written by a lady with the name Ruby Healis from Barbados. Here message is on the front side of this card and apparently the two did not know each other before. The reason of writing seems to be collecting, postcards I presume, and although the text is hard to decipher the lady writes: how many Barbadian cards do you have. I have 700 and don’t collect stamps.
Peeping into a private conversation of a long time ago, I guess neither sender nor receiver is still alive because the handwriting shows all characters of an adult person. This is the way she survived on the other side of the world more than a century later, and shows the charm of collecting in those days and the way to retrieve an odd object. Since the Internet became an integrated part of our lives, the dept of the unknown railway is gone, just Google: Barbados Railway and page after page you can enjoy this little enterprise succumbed in 1937. No wonder why my first steps were not going in the direction of the station as I did on another isle: Jamaica. Neither there was any lingering along an old alignment, something I developed first at another age.


About Robert von Hirschhorn

Author / Performer or in Dutch: schrijver / dichter
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