By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

Japan has very strict safety check standards and none of the cars I’ve driven in the years I’ve been here have ever lost their brakes.

I’ve had two “no brakes” experiences in my life and both of them were with old cars I owned in Hawaii.

The first occurred in a McDonald’s parking lot back when I was about nineteen. I had a Ford Maverick and I’d just pulled into a parking spot and pushed down on the brake pedal when it hit the floorboard. I pumped the brake and pulled up the emergency brake to stop before I hit the parking lot wall.

I crawled under the car and found that the right side brake hose had cracked open. I walked to work and went to the auto parts dealer during my lunch hour in the company’s delivery van. I bought a new brake hose and brake fluid there and fixed my car after work.

The second event was when I was a commercial farmer. I’d gotten an old truck from a friend and was driving it down a steep hill. I pressed the brake pedal to slow for a curve and guess what? Yep! No brakes again! I downshifted to reduce speed and went as slow as I could down the hill hoping that there wouldn’t be any cars at the intersection I’d have to pass before I could hit the leveler pavement beyond the intersection where I could pull over and use the emergency brake.

Luck was with me and I passed the intersection and managed to stop. I checked out the damage and found that the stainless steel brake line had ruptured. I walked home and borrowed my parent’s car to go to the parts center. I bought a length of stainless steel brake tubing, brake fluid and a flaring set. I cut the brake tubing to size and flared the ends to replace the old tubing. I bled the air from the system, tested the brakes and drove my parent’s car home. Another walk back to my repaired truck and I was back on the road again.

ブレーキが効かない!

日本の厳しい車検基準下ではブレーキ故障はほぼあり得ない。来日後運転してきた数多くの自動車にはブレーキ故障は一度も経験したことがない。

しかし、今までブレーキ故障は2度の経験もある。両方はハワイで島でのことだった。

一回目は19歳の頃で、マクドの駐車所の駐車途中で壁にぶつかる前にブレーキ・ペダルを踏んで下まで下がったとき。ブレーキ・ペダルを繰り返し踏んで、ぶつかる前にサイドブレーキで停めた!車の下にもぐり、右側のブレーキ・ホースが割れたと分かった。仕事場まで歩いて、昼時間に会社の配達用バンで部品屋に行き、新しいブレーキ・ホースとブレーキ・オイルを買った。仕事後、マクドに歩いて車を修理した(当時一式の最低の整備道具を随時車に積んでいた)。

二回目は専業農家の頃だった。かなり古いトラックを游人から買って、急坂に降りていた。カーブを曲がるためにブレーキ・ペダルを踏んで?!そうや!下まで踏んでもブレーキがない!!シフトダウンしながら、交差点の停められる平の地まで車が来ないと祈って進んだ。幸いに車が来なかった。道横でサイドブレーキを効かして停めた。

トラック下に潜り、ステンレス製のブレーキラインが破裂したと分かった。家まで歩いて、母の車を借りて、部品屋へ。ステンレス製ブレーキライン、ブレーキオイル、それから口広げ加工道具を持っていなかったためにそれも購入した。ブレーキ管を適切なサイズに切って、接続できるように口を広げた。空気をブレーキ・ラインから抜いてから帰った。母の車を返してからトラックへ再び歩いて運転して帰った。

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English books by Billy Hammond published by AELS

(AELS出版英語書籍リスト)

 

I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers

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