What about that bakery car, Celsie? [nederlands]
A screenshot of the last part of my cv.
In response to the above piece of my cv, i got many requests to tell about that bakery cart. Well then.
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When i was about 6 or 7 years, i lived in this street, which was recently in the news for a row of downed trees.
"My" house on the utter left. Photo: Pieter Perquin AKA Perquisite for NOS 2023
In the days when these trees were still standing upright (i looked it up: at the time of blowing over, they were a few years past 70, and i'm 60), most shopkeepers came to the door with their wagons or carts. The SRV man, for instance; the grocery shop sat diagonally opposite our house, i still dream about it sometimes. The egg farmer, who everyone was kind of afraid of. It was an older man with wild hair, and he had a son, who was equally terrifying. Sometimes they would come by when the eggs weren't finished, and father or son would stay at the door. We would hide behind the sofa, and he would shout, "I can see you!" at the window.
Then there was the coal cart, but that was short-lived for me, when we switched to central heating; the husk farmer came by too, for the potato peelings and other food leftovers, which was used as cattle feed. I feel really ancient now. Whereas, this was in the late 1960s. The peeler had a special peeler yell, i don't remember how that went. The fishmonger also came along, who also called something in a certain way again. The scissors grinder, that was also a thing back then, you could have your knives and scissors sharpened, on the spot. Very handy! Why is all that no longer there?
Of course there was the greengrocer, which you still see here and there. And then there was: the baker.
Our baker had one of those three-wheel mini-vans. I loved cars. Mainly to sit in, actually. I really wanted to drive a car myself. In my father's Citroën DS, i was sometimes allowed to sit at the wheel, when it was stationary of course, just in the parking lot in front of the house. Then i played that i was going on a car holiday.
And so there was the bakery car. I loved it, the sound, and but then especially the idea that i could drive it, just like the baker. And that i would then be a baker, something like that. That seemed great. The baker apparently thought that was cute, and so i was allowed to come along on the bakery car. We were barely on the road, on the first side street, and the baker stopped to deliver an order. Before leaving the vehicle, he told me not to touch the red button. Okay, of course i had been paying attention to how the thing was going to drive. With the red button, so i understood that i was not allowed to touch that.
Well i am autistic, and though people didn't know that then, now i do, and retrospectively i do now understand why i did what i did.
I was sitting obediently waiting on the baker's seat of the bakery car, the baker came walking back from the customer, and in a kind of wantonness he shouted at me something like, "Okay, we can go again" or maybe something with a gesture, i don't remember. But something gave me the idea, that he was telling me to turn on the cart, so i pressed the red button.... and the cart drove - not very fast - forward. Where a car was parked. The baker ("NO! NO!") ran to the cart and dove in front of me to stop it, which didn't go immediately of course, and so the cart had hit the car. It was no big deal, there was no damage as far as i can remember, but the baker was furious and i was sent away (crying).
So much for the baking career.
Things never worked out with driving either. At 18, i took driving lessons, and although i could drive, technically, there was a bit of a problem with my focus. During the exam, for instance, i almost drove into a couple of cyclists on my right, because the examiner pointed out a nice boat on the left. More driving lessons didn't make much sense, i'm just not good at doing several things at once. A waste of all those expensive driving lessons, though. But hey: i do know how to drive a car, so in case of extreme emergency i should still be able to do it, which is something i take comfort in.
But little remains of all those beautiful car dreams.
My father smashed the Citroën DS in a ditch, after fallen asleep at the wheel. Then we had a green Fort Taunus station wagon, in which we spent many holidays travelling around Belgium, France and Germany. Something like seatbelts were not yet in place, i think, or only in the front seats, and we children were allowed to take turns in the boot. That was very pleasant, then you could hang out with a pillow and on some blankets between the suitcases and bags, and the world would pass by in a completely different way.
He was an optician, and had eye-catching, big pink plastic glasses on the car - when we went on holiday, he would take them off, of course. Apparently, he put them in the rubbish at some point, because years later, and years ago now, i was at the dentist, and i read a piece in a magazine about some hipsters, who had found similar pink glasses, and put them in their hipster home. They had no idea where it came from, but and everyone loved it! I was never able to find out who or where they were, i had to have a root canal treatment and had forgotten all about it at the time. And only now do i realise, it was just giant queer glasses!
Other than that, cars just suck, of course, ruining our living environments.