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Vacation from then - column

ER Classics Desktop 2022

You got up, grabbed your papers and a toothbrush, got up, and headed off. That's how you used to go on vacation. Somewhere in the afternoon - after having arranged overnight accommodation in the outskirts of Verdun - there was a stop on a village terrace. The French still call WWI 'La Grande Guerre'.

Northern France was far enough away

In those years, old military tactics clashed with the latest military strategies. For example, the British traditionally marched with the bayonet on the rifle in a broad front towards the enemy. That enemy had just discovered the blessings of the machine gun and immediately adopted completely different rules of the game.


Many tourists search fields and forests with metal detectors. Sometimes one finds a bomb or grenade. "BOOM". Another mixed report in the newspaper. It was near dinner time. The XT500 got a kick, and hop: "Verdun, here I come again". On the same unpaved back road that I had left town on. I was almost there and then someone turned off the light. Later I opened my eyes. I was in pain all over. A vague creosote and urine smell hung in a dim hall. There were groans next to me. There was a child who had three IVs and was bandaged. I still felt a bit vague when a beautiful Asian girl came and stood next to me. Her name was Sister Maria Theresa. She said. She promised to call the doctor. I was reminded that I should be on the bike instead of lying in what appears to be a hospital bed.

A jovial man in a white doctor's coat approached me

He gave me a shake of his head and reported that the hospital did not often receive more casualties from the battlefield of Verdun. Told about what had been done to me after an illegal motocross XNUMX-year-old found me. He had contacted the pompiers because he did not want to go to the gendarmerie because of his age. On the third day I found myself cured. I took the IV out of my arm. Picked up the strip of painkillers on the nightstand and signed me out. My luggage had been delivered by the innkeeper. I couldn't close all the buttons. The train journey home was long and painful.

There was blind panic on the home front

It's no fun to be hugged by your mother crying when you have a bunch of broken ribs and are black and blue. The reason for that panic? A friendly repatriation figure had put the wrangled XT next to the garage without further explanation. The cause of the dive into oblivion turned out not to be Ricard. In my most recent favorite corner, the XT had a flat tire. This became apparent when the patient was checked. But how many Maria Theresas there really were? My doctor pulled away gray when he saw that the painkillers provided in France in the Netherlands fell under both the Opium Act and the Arms Act. The XT was rebuilt. With an American 590cc set. It made the bike even more fun.

8 Comments

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  1. On XT with buddy (on XR) in October around Spain Portugal. At the end of October from central Portugal in one go home…. Buddy was homesick! At home, thundered when getting off because the knees did not want to be straight from the clay.
    Cool story, but sweet memories? Well no.
    Great bike the XT!

  2. Old holiday stories remain fun. Whoever tells them. On four old Harley's to the Czech Republic and then for the East German border to be told that from there you can only go to Berlin and not to the Czech Republic. And then detour until you are around East Germany and can go straight into the Czech Republic through the then still quite dense iron curtain. Eight in a big tent.
    Or pick up your girlfriend a year later on Friday morning after her night shift, tie her to yourself with a big scarf to go that way for another weekend and let her sleep on the German autobahn with her back against the guard rails while we have to fix a short circuit on the other bike and the trucks drive up the mountain less than half a meter in front of her feet and then be home again on Tuesday to be able to do a late shift .. Don't they call that youth sentiment?

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