The hidden years in Canada 48, the test

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Wednesday 03 June 07:56


The test

The truck was already waiting for me. It had been loaded up, I had not expected that. Kiwi stood there he had let her warm up. ‘Are you ready champion,’ he laughed? ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘but I had not expected it to be loaded?’ ‘It's easy, 'said my Australian mentor,’ freight bills are inside the cabin, if you pass the test then you go straight down and do the Lethbridge run along the two major contractors, one in High River and one in Clare Home. You know those from the past week. ‘ ‘What if I fail?’ I asked. ‘Then you also do the Lethbridge run, but without a license. It is a run where control is most unlikely. You follow the dirt roads network, which will lead you to the backwaters, and you get unloaded and maybe if you're back in time, you will not be fired. ‘ ‘Without a license,’ I asked in disbelief? ‘Yes,’ said Kiwi, ‘here nothing surprises me anymore. We simply don’t lose time. ‘

So I drove a little later with a truck piled up high with materials, direction department of highways. It was the same field where I got my driver's license for cars and my motorcycle license by an added stamp. The building stood on a big field and the neon light came blasting out of the windows. I brought the truck to a stop and got out. Which sounds easy but because the height of the cabin is always accompanied by a little jump.

‘Good morning,’ I said, and the man nodded towards me, his eyes leaving for a second a portable TV that he had been watching. A heavy American voice explained how the Lunar Module, the landing craft would be linked and with simulation movies showing the capsule doing a few orbits around the earth in order to find the right angle before continuing it’s journey to the moon. ‘Say it, boy,’ the man said, he had a mug of coffee in his hand and was not particularly interested in my absence. ‘I've come to do my test,’ I said, 'my boss sent me. ‘ He glanced out the window and saw the truck. 'Okay,' he said, and the deep voice of the television announced the next phase of the process preceded by the heraldic trumpets which announced the news flashes.

‘Yes,’ said the man, following the images with half an eye. ‘Great,’ he said! ‘You know the theory,‘ he asked? Kiwi had said nothing to me about theory. His Australian driver's license had of course just been swapped for a Canadian one.'Yes, ‘I said. ‘Good,’ the man said again, and then he pointed at the screen, ‘son of a gun,’ he said, they are linked. ‘Now they really are going to leave us,’ and he pointed excitedly at the screen. ‘Okay, a question for you,’ he said. ‘What requires a longer stopping distance, a full or empty truck.’ ‘A full one,’ I replied. The trumpet blare announced yet another phase that would reverberate 6 days to propagate forever in the brains of our generation. The Americans took optimal advantage of their scientific marvel. ‘That's right,’ the man said. ‘Give me an example of how long your braking distance is related to speed.’ Kiwi had told me that a few times. ‘ The braking distance increases as you go faster, 'I had found that logical and realized now it was also important to know. ‘Yes,’ said the man who looked past me with his eyes riveted to the TV screen. ‘I'm waiting for the example.’

‘If you drive a hundred then the braking distance is about ¾ of the speed, say 75 meters,’ I said, ‘and if you drive 70 mph the braking distance would be  35 meters, so say half. You could say that the braking distance varies between a half and three quarters. So it is safest to keep as minimum distance the maximum braking distance. ‘ ‘Yes, yes, I’ve heard it all, the man said, get your truck, drive a lap and park it in between those thick stripes outside 'and he pointed vaguely to the big field,’ and then come inside, I’ll follow it from here. ‘ The latter I doubted very much because the trumpet blare now sounded really at every second.


Moments later, I came back in and the examiner glanced outside. ‘That was very good,’ he said, ‘give your license here.’ ‘Holy shit,’ he exclaimed, ‘look’ and he pointed to the screen which was filling up with a huge speedometer. '39 thousand and 800 kilometers per hour. Then they are,‘and he watched in disbelief,’ within 10 hours at the moon. ‘ That was not right, I realized, because there whould be a delay in their path to get into the right orbit to the moon, if they did not want to overshoot and miss their target, but it seemed good to keep that wisdom to myself.’ Kaboom’, the stamp with the emblem of the department of highways gave me the privilege to work with heavy duty equipment on her majesty’s roads. ‘Thank you,’ I said and he waved me friendly away, without taking his eyes off the screen.

‘Hey man,’ I said to Rico, ‘you are my Swamper now and we are going to Lethbridge and if you work well, then I’ll treat you to a cup of coffee in Clare Home.’ ‘Wow,’ said Rico in a mock humble voice, 'thanks, thanks, I am eternally grateful.

 San Daniel 2015

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