Our first year, part 2
Last week you could already read about our first year together. That was back in 1995 and times were very different from now of course. Mobile phones were not available yet and we also had no internet. Fortunately, I received a lot of mail from family and friends from the Netherlands and that always made me very happy. I also liked to write back then, so I sent a lot of letters to the Netherlands. All neatly handwritten ;). I had arranged with my parents to be at the post office at a certain time every Friday evening at the public telephone. I had obtained its number and passed it on to them so that they could call me at the payphone at that time. Calling abroad was still very expensive at the time, so that’s why we did it this way. Then the costs were for them :). It was great to be able to speak to them and hear their voices at least once a week. How much easier things are now! You can see and hear each other at all times. Now someone should invent something where you can also hug each other ;).
I actually really liked riding along on the truck. There was always something to see and we also experienced quite a lot in that year. At night we slept in large parking lots where we could also take a shower. Usually, there were a few cubicles next to each other, without doors, especially for truck drivers. They were all men so when I went to take a shower I used to take the last booth and Bine stood in front of it so that no one could walk by. When I came out and others saw me, (funny and sexist) comments were of course always made. Fortunately, we never really had any problems. It was quite an adventure. As I wrote, sleeping was a problem. There was far too little space and it was always too cold or too warm. I also almost always have to go out at night to pee. Not handy either. I then had to climb over Bine and go sit somewhere hidden between or under the trucks. I remember one time when we woke up at night and drops of condensation fell on our heads. Everything was wet. Then we took a room somewhere for 1 night as an exception. What a luxury that was! Fortunately, the problem was solved so that we were no longer bothered by it.
What I also liked is that we had our dog Dusty, who always went with us. We got Dusty from an acquaintance and I had convinced Bine that I wanted a dog so that I wouldn’t feel so alone when he was away on the truck. As you could read in part 1, staying at home didn’t work out because I wanted to and went with Bine. So then there was no other option than to also bring Dusty along. Those who have paid close attention have already discovered her in the »sleep photo« in part 1 :).
We also had a stowaway on board once. Fortunately, Bine found out in time. We had arrived at a border crossing in the evening and there was a very long line of slow-moving trucks. Bine suggested that I get behind the wheel so that he could take care of the paperwork. Otherwise, we would have had to get out of line, and we would have been stuck at the border for much longer. So I kept driving forward in the queue.
Twice I had seen a young boy with a backpack walking past who looked in the cabins of the trucks but I paid no further attention to it. At night, we heard some rumbling, but we both thought it was something outside. Before we left in the morning Bine went to the toilet and suddenly saw that the tarpaulin of the truck at the back was slightly open. He had closed it all the way up, so he didn’t trust it. He opened the tarpaulin and suddenly saw two feet sticking out from under a pallet. That kid with the backpack was in the back of the truck! He had, of course, been looking for a truck to crawl into and, thinking that as a female driver, I was alone, had selected me as easy prey. Luckily that Bine saw the tarpaulin open because if we had crossed the border and were checked, we would have had a big problem! All in all, our first year was quite an adventure and now mainly a nice memory.