Just Forget Falken

In memory of Arve (Arabern) Almerud.

By Geir Sundets (Translated from Norwegian to Dutch by Wim Varenkamp)Sties

In the second night of 1999 Arve “the Arab” Almerud died.

The confirmation that our friend and deeply respected international transport colleague had left us after a stroke, was a big shock to the drivers environment.

For everyone who had the pleasure to meet Arve, drive with him, hear his stories, hear stories about him from others, led this message to big grieving.

Arve was one of the biggest personalities while on the road, a natural authority, but also a good friend who took the time to help an inexperienced driver and thus he won many drivers’ hearts.

He had very much experience, was one of the Bandar Abbas veterans, but it’s perhaps above all his great ideas that I will remember with pleasure.

We will always remember ‘The Arab’ with great joy.

StiesTo write down his verbal expressions, which were often brilliant, is impossible. But the story that he told me then, as I remember, was like this:

We called that evening from the gas station in Odda. In that time nobody had heard of the mobile phone, so we needed to find a place with a phone we could use.

“Tomorrow you need to be in Larvik in time”, my boss said. “I have cargo for you and we need to use your truck.” “Yes, that’s okay,” I said, “but it’s snowing very hard, it seems as if someone up there is throwing the snow down here with spade. I shall give it a try, but I can’t guarantee that we get there!”

“But you have to be here Arve, I don’t have any other trucks.”

“No, but as much as it snows here now, I can’t even guarantee that they keep the road at Haukeli open.”

“Arve, it makes no sense to discuss this. You are here on time tomorrow, that’s an order,” said the fool and he hang up.

Arve told me that when the boss is behaving like that, you don’t need to take it seriously.

Chains? We had some pieces left, after we had been spinning on the way to Bergen, but we were on our way now, just driving to see how far we could get. I was followed by a comrade in another car. On the slope at Odda a dragged him, he dragged me, we exchanged chains and when we couldn’t get any further we laid a brick on the throttle, tied up the steering wheel with a belt and walked alongside the car. We threw loose chains under de wheels of the truck. The old Scania 110 Torpedo was at the lowest possible speed, so we could walk past the truck and see in front of the grill the radiator fan spin. This was so slowly that we could count the rotations the fan made.

Oooouuuuiiiittchh, oooouuuitchhhh.

I think Arve was training to make such sounds, such as the radiator fan, when we was daydreaming behind the wheel.

Then it snowed so badly, that when we were in the car, we couldn’t even see our own wipers. We only heard them: schvisch schvisch.

So it went on that night, until we got tired.

That afternoon, the next day, we had breakfast at a café in Telemark. We had a very good night’s rest, the cars’ engines were idling on the parking lot and I phoned the transport company.

“You,” I said, “Are we members of Falken?”

“Why do you ask?” he said.

“Answer my question. Are we members of Falken?”

“WHY DO YOU ASK?” he yelled, “you know we are members of Falken!”

“Yea, that gear of Falken you can forget,” I said to him, “they are totally useless now. That guy from Falken, that’s here now, only got 50 meters of wire and my car lies 100 meters lower, so you can cancel the membership.”

And I’ll tell you, it was quiet for a long time on the other side of the phone.

Later that evening we came at the terrain of the transport company and we didn’t hear any bad words about being too late. Not then and not later.

Thanks for the many wonderful hours and stories “Arab”.

You’ll never come too late, you just left too early.


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