I’ve taken up the 1000 word challenge, here is my attempt below. I’ve taken the point of view from the tram drivers perspective as the tram and the scenery was what held my attention as soon as I saw the photo so I wanted to explore who got to see this sight regularly.
The tram made its way up the steep hill, the gears graunching and wheels squealing from a lack of oil. It was always hard work going up, like a climb which never ended.
But it was also the best time. Maneuvering the tram down the hill was the worst. Maintaining a slow speed, not allowing it to gain too much momentum so the ride is steady. Not to mention keeping an eye out for people to taken up in their own interests, stepping in front of the tram or children running out without looking. No, going up was definitely the best.
The slow climb meant I had time to observe life, going on all around. The people were what made the job, not just the ones riding my tram. I had made so many friends with the regular riders, those who needed to get to work or home. The mothers who had to get the children out of the house occasionally. And the lonely souls, who just want some company.
All of these people I looked forward to seeing and exchanging the latest news but it was the world outside which holds my attention, day in and day out. Today I watch the lovers embracing, believing they were the only ones to have ever felt “this way.” I’d wonder about them, would it last, were they beginning or near the end.
Or the elderly couples, struggling along up the hill, often one a bit faster than the other, impatiently urging their partner on.
The lost and befuddled tourists were always amusing to watch as they tried to make sense of their maps. When they needed direction, listening to them often fumble the local language making it near incomprehensible so they are forced to resort to wildly swinging their arms about yelling words the listener cannot understand. The looks of confusion and impatience often giving way to grateful smiles, sometimes hugs were the highlight of these exchanges.
This narrow street has been my life for so long; I know these buildings and the cobbles intimately. I know which section sits little higher than the others so the tram needs a little more effort to leverage and make the climb, I know which corner to watch more carefully, as there is a small school at the end and children are often excited at being let out and don’t always remember the tram might be coming.
This is my city and the tram is my viewing platform, up and down many times a day, per week, per year. I’ve been driving for nearly thirty years. Sadly, the time is coming where the tram will be no longer traveling It is outdated and when repairs are needed it takes longer to source parts. Some believe the cables are an eyesore and make the street look shabby; they want to pull up the tracks and cobble the streets properly. Times are changing and the new generation are coming through who don’t see the romance and charm of the trams. They couldn’t possibly understand the joy I get from this, the pace of life is moving faster than this old man and his tram can keep up with.
But for now, I watch and I wonder at the lives going on all around me and wonder just what today will bring.