Old Soviet Trains in Macedonia

Before only seen on the television
While watching James Bond on TV
Now the English speaking stranger
Is no secret agent, far less glamorous, it is me…
In this land that is modernising fast
Little of the soviet time remains…
But a remnant still working of the former days
Are these beautiful old trains.

A couple from Mexico are in my carriage
A Bosnian who has family here
And a Roma family are hassled
By train police when they appear.
The Bosnian spoke of his country
During the war now thankfully past,
Mexicans listen to talk of Ireland and Longford
As the small stations fly past.

The Bosnian translated for the locals
Who wanted to know where I was from:
We speaking fellow strangers:
Where was I going, why did I come.
Families, hopes for the future,
The common bond of man,
Common language of tears and laughter
As we struggle by best we can.

In time we reach the borders
Inspections of passports
Time for duty free shopping
Bottles of beer, spirits for shorts
The train takes its time in leaving
Life to hurry it is too short
We see Kosovos hills in the distance
Which reminds us of life’s worth.

Should I there ever go again
I know with regret it will not be the same
Time and modernisation will have caught up there
All will have changed, great is the shame.
Then, you traveled as if one of the country people
Both parties which of life’s hardships complains
Not spoiled by greed and capitalism
On the old Soviet era trains.

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