Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Friend and foe

September 22nd, 2010

"A strong foe is better than a weak friend" – Edward Dahlberg, American novelist

I thought the usual quotation – "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer" – hackneyed, even if it’s attributed to a Chinese military strategist. But, two and a half thousand years later, it does have an irritating aptness. Lorry drivers. The worst come perilously close, sucking you in towards their trailers, then spitting you out as they rumble past. Riding slowly uphill into a headwind, the wall of air those plunging downhill create can be sufficient to bring you to an abrupt halt.

But, for all that, faced with genuine difficulty on remote stretches of road, it’d be lorry drivers I’d seek help from. No hesitation. Not all would oblige, but when assistance came, you just knew it’d be from a trucker. They’re the ones that often wave as they pass, give the thumbs up, offer water, keep an eye on you. Dare say there are car drivers who’d step in. Of course there are, but more likely they’d stop to take a photo and then head off. Busy people.

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