Wonder what the “L” on Trucks Stands For?..

Needless to say, our Go-Boxes have a problem. So, we pull in to the nearest garage before being frogmarched down to a police station.

Wow, what a splendid selection of top-shelf reading material adorning the magazine rack, I muse. And when I say “top-shelf”, I actually mean bottom shelf, thrust upon the innocent customer popping in to buy fuel or a newspaper, a little bit like those internet pop-up boxes.

Take “Buttlust”, for example: a pricey Canadian publication, billed as the ‘magazine for fanny fanatics.’ This translates poorly for the British male reader, possibly expecting quality snaps of female genitalia.

Yes, blame the North Americans for once again butchering the English slang and causing bewilderment. I open the glossy pages for a brisk ogle – for journalistic ends, and arguably for enlightenment – while Namibian sorts out the tax.

6th February:

I can’t stand the rain, ‘gainst my windows…’ Nor can I, Tina, but it’s more of a damp mist than actual rain, the sort of weather one associates with Eastern European border crossings…and England.

This lack of sunshine, and its life-giving Vitamin D, is cracking the skin round my eyes. Or is it simply ageing? Or something more sinister? Whatever. But “Mystic” (mentioned in the last blog), at 41, guesses he might be younger than I, a mere whippersnapper of 33. Perhaps he’s just being nasty because his earplug-wearing antics are now recorded in cyberspace.

Or maybe it’s because I behave like an old git, storming out of bars in Sri Lanka, for instance, amid lasers and dry ice, because I could no longer see the columns of The Telegraph.

Regardless, Mystic was ‘verbally attacked’ later that day for wearing earplugs in the crew dining room; by doing so, he was tacitly implying that the caterers’ choice of music was naff. He’s a bit under the weather at the moment, unbalanced after losing a nasal hair.

And no, the green “L” on my truck is not an abbreviation of “learner”, thank you very much. Briefly, the Austrians require heavy trucks to have what’s called a “hush kit” fitted around the engine if travelling at night. I know, if I could travel during the day I would.

Anyway, the L indicates that this kit has been fitted. Occasionally, one has to show the accompanying paperwork before being allowed to proceed.

I’ll try and keep trucking stuff to a bare minimum in future, but I think it helps you to empathise? My only way to know if factual information has your eyes drooping is if you comment. And while I’m asking questions, any thoughts on constantly using the present tense?

There are two types of road tax here in Austria: pre-pay and post-pay. ‘What, you’ve got to pay by post?’ asks a poker-faced Namibian. Isn’t he adorable?

He assures me, incidentally, that his health is fantastic as he unwraps a 300g bar of milk chocolate..