The Google Truck Diaries

By: Ioanna Mavrou

In Russia people stare because they keep their cameras inside their cars on their dashboards and I wear mine on the outside like my heart. Easier to get hurt this way, somebody tells me, but I don’t care, not even when some kids throw rocks at me somewhere in the Balkans. I am the Google Truck, I love everybody, the world is my oyster, and so on.

In France I get into trouble when in one of those super narrow streets in Paris I witness a mugging. I tell the muggers I swear I won’t tell anyone, but they chase me anyway. The bottles break on my back and my camera fogs with beer splashes. I don’t stop until I’m on the other side of the tunnel. When Headquarters ask I tell them I don’t know why some street view images are blurry. I don’t turn video on so they don’t see me cry.

I feel safe for a second but then England depresses me because it is rainy and overcast even though it is the middle of July. I call the Google Headquarters back home and complain but they just chuckle. I can almost hear the sunshine coming in through Hangouts. I ask to talk to my supervisor but they tell me he’s off street-viewing Hawaii and I want to die. I tell them that if they don’t get me back home ASAP I will drive myself off the White Cliffs of Dover. They tell me to get on the next boat to New York and I withhold uploads until they agree to a full-expense ride. I take full advantage of it and have so many cocktails I emerge completely wasted in New York and spend two nights in a Bronx jail.

After that I head west. I don’t stop for towns. I don’t look at sights. My camera is on but I’m not really home. I drive and I upload and once I almost run over a deer but I don’t and that makes me sort of happy. A couple times people acknowledge my existence and once some college kids moon me. It’s good to be almost home. I upload pictures and look at Google Doodles to pass the time.

In California things are easy because everyone is mellow and everyone knows me and I can see my home on the map on my dashboard, the dot where I belong within reach, no scrolling required. People wave and other trucks blow their horns as we pass each other on the freeways. In Santa Monica I fall in love with a taco truck and we talk about running away to Mexico together until its owner comes back and drives it away from me. I follow them all the way to North Hollywood and spend the night outside their driveway but in the morning the taco truck pretends not to know me.

I stop at every beach parking lot up the coast and stare at the waves and take street view shots and sigh. When I get back to San Francisco I meet a nice mail truck and we spend hours together, but it’s just a rebound thing. I tell it I am on a mission and can’t be tied down. The whole world is watching. I go back to Mountain View. FML.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *