Our truck is very distinctive. Her paint job and graphics set her apart from all the others and, in my opinion, she’s the most beautiful truck on the road. She also has over a million miles on her Detroit Diesel, so each and every time we stop, George opens the hood and tinkers with this or that, fills things up and just generally checks everything out. For some reason, when he opens that hood, people seem to flock to the truck, either to see what’s under the hood, or offer their various opinions on what we should be doing to keep her in good condition.
We were stopped at Jubitz, up in Oregon, and he had begun his daily tinkering. Two guys walked over and started talking to him, but neither one of us could understand what they were saying. One of them was standing there pointing at the motor and trying to ask questions about it,but his accent was so thick, it was really hard to understand what he was saying. Mostly because he was speaking Russian.
“Eh, buddy, you got that motor there, right?”
George was a little baffled, but he’s a really nice guy and always tries to answer questions about the truck.
“Uh, well the motor came with the truck.”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s a motor, right?”
“Well I sure hope it is.”
This seemed to confuse the guy, so he stepped back and started talking to his friend in whatever language (Russian, I think) they were well versed in. He steps forward again.
“Eh, buddy, you got that motor, right?”
George is a nice guy, but when he’s working on the truck, he tries to concentrate. I could tell he was getting a little annoyed.
“Yeah man, it’s a motor. It’s a Detroit Diesel, 60 series.”
This was apparently the information they were trying to ascertain, because they both started smiling and nodding and commenting in whatever language it was they spoke. This is where I stepped in.
“Where y’all from?”
They looked at each other and answered in tandem.
“Really now? Y’all grow up there?”
“Oh yes, yes. Spokane.”
I was a little dubious about the validity of their statement, but I’m a nice person too, so I just let it go. Who knows, they may have a community of Russian-speaking individuals in Spokane. About this time, another, English-speaking, gentleman walked up and asked what kind of motor George was working on. (Side note: this is apparently tantamount information between truckers. I’ve clued in on the fact that everyone wants to know what kind of motor you have. I’m sharp like that.) Both the Russians answered at the same time.
“He’s got that motor.”
The English-speaking guy looked at me, very confused, and said, “Where are they from?”
In tandem, they replied, “Spokane.”
So here’s a heads up. If you’re going to be delivering in Spokane, you better brush up on your Russian because apparently, that’s the going language around there.
Sometimes, being on the road is confusing.