Carla Drift – Nomadic existence 2

A new nomadic existence began after the (temporal) goodbye to the village of my youth – now an existence without purpose. Since my childhood I always had a motive to an end. In elementary school I read adventures about knights and adventurers and I wanted to know everything about the universe and about biology. In high school literature, mathematics and natural sciences were added. As the oldest daughter it was my duty to set an example. In Delft, I was preoccupied by my study natural sciences and I lost myself in a love affair; both were a dead-end path. With humanities I found a new point of focus in Amsterdam. My work in this area occupied me completely, and research in the tropics took a part of my health. Behind the wheel on the tractor I suddenly had no goal, except the road ahead.

Spring had started and I drove to the South in the direction of the sun. The road went to France via Belgium. The first few days my new nomadic existence occupied me fully. In my student days I had made long treks on my bike to South Europe. The humming of the bicycle tires was my companion, now the rumble of the diesel engine was my company. After a few hours this monotone sound along with the vibration of the tractor was quite tiring. With my temperate health I had to look for accommodation after three or four hour drive around mid-afternoon. Sometimes it was a camping place, often I camped in the wild.


Almost always I met nice and helpful people; I spoke with them about my trek and sometimes we told about each other’s lives. Travelling on my own I saw many special things: a cock between a group of ducks. A few days I travelled with a woman with a parrot on her shoulder. We went the same way this part of our journey. Her bike was placed in the caravan and she and her parrot sat next to me on the tractor. She started to drift after her divorce and the death of her ex-husband. So hard for her to choose between the relief and the grief of losing. The Parrot was her companion for conversation and together they did performances on market places for their living. I think they were for another part dependent on charity and begging, but we did not talk about this.


This extraordinary woman gave me the idea to juggle for some earnings. During daytime I started practicing. Over time I mastered the art of juggling with three balls and three clubs. With these acts I could do the beginning and middle of my performance; the apotheosis was the dancing stick [3] with burning tips.


By a helpful man who helped me with a flat tyre of my caravan, I came in touch with a board of a school that immediately needed a lecturer mathematics until the summer holidays. A day later I was teacher of mathematics.

The first lesson I asked who knew what a derivative and an integral meant. Fortunately, many students could tell how it was done: luckily they had learned it well. But no one could answer me what these actions meant. I explained that these particular mathematical acts were addition and subtraction in a specific manner. The students laughed at me in disbelief because they thought this statement was absurd. A derivative is the manner whereby the change of a function is reduced or increased over a certain way/time – so it is a special way of addition and subtraction. An integral is the manner in which the increase or decrease takes place over a certain way or time – therefore also a special way of addition and subtraction. After some examples from physics and everyday life, their curiosity was aroused for mathematics.


The next school year there was a need for a teacher for physics. This class did not like physics at all. Several opinion leaders preferred computer war-games. I kept hidden that I knew the consequences of wars far too well – again playing hide and seek.

I chose a different approach; I asked what they knew about physics. In response, I started a round of arm wrestling with the strongest boy: fortunately I won. The warmongers I showed a photo of a fighter plane that passed the sound barrier emerging with a lens-shaped condensation cloud. The ecologists I showed photos of solar cars. These topics nicely fitted within the subjects for physics for that school year.


After half a year the solar cars was calculated, the warmongers knew what a bullet trajectory, energy and impact was, and they learned the meaning of momentum with arm wrestling. At the end of my year in this class I had another round of arm wrestling: now the young man won, as it should.


A short time after the second interim period, a dark page was written in the history of my life. Someone attacked my honour and my life. By self-defence I saved my life. According to my feeling and reason this act was legally and ethically permissible, but I crossed the border of moral crimes investigator to a person committing such an act. Emotionally I stood between doers of these crimes. I had lost my innocence; a part of me had died.

A winter followed in which I met Narrator.


My publisher has its new website available:

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[3] See also:

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