after a couple of hundred kilometres of driving, delivering bottles of wine around greater sydney all day for work, i was a little tired when i got back in my own car to drive to the hospital, not to mention late. as i passed the first petrol station i remembered i was running severely low on petrol already… i need to get around to tuning the bug since she’s been sitting around various garages for a month.
i figured i’d make it to the next one, but 0.9 miles down the road i felt a familiar loss of power in all gears, and managed to turn into a driveway. luckily it was a big one; i stopped right in the way with my front wheels touching the speed bump.
luckily i carry a gerry can these days, i got it out of the boot, locked the car and set off down the road. i wasn’t sure how far i’d come, but the servo wasn’t in sight. i crossed the road and stuck my thumb out as i walked, often holding the can in the outstretched hand so the situation was obvious. luckily oriordan st is big and straight, so all the traffic was going to my destination. after not too long of negotiating the kerb to stay on the road side of the trees, a small truck pulled up and took me down the road.
paying for my five dollars worth of petrol, i contemplated asking which direction people were going, but noone gave me any easy openings. wouldn’t you think it highly likely that someone filling up a gerry can would be able to use some kind of assistance? i was slightly worried that i wouldn’t get lucky twice and would have to lug the can all the way back, but i set off anyway, a thumb being a much easier form of communication than all those words needed to explain situations and make requests, and all that body language required to demonstrate that i’m not threatening, would be very grateful and am not asking much.
of course walking with one’s arm out and a full gerry can hanging off the other is very different to walking with one’s arm out and an empty gerry can. and changing arms, though occasionally necessary, is even more challenging. five litres of petrol on the end of an outstretched arm uses interesting muscles. luckily there were less trees on this side of the road, and i could walk on the footpath. i was getting slightly concerned, but hadn’t really gotten very far when another small truck pulled up a fair way ahead. gerry can and all, running up to a truck on spec is much easier without a pack or having spent three weeks on the road. sure enough, he had stopped for me, and though he joked about my car having been stolen as i searched for it, not having paid attention to where i’d left it, he drove me down the road and turned into the driveway, just that extra little gesture of making sure i’m right before he drove off.
respect to all small truck drivers out there, thank you for your trust, care and generosity.