Sunday, July 6, 2008

In a Hole in Denmark

It was a crisp fall afternoon in Aalborg, Denmark and Jessie and I were walking with friends. Feeling the need for some liquid refreshment we turned into the entry way for the Convention Center and an associated hotel. I was walking about five feet in front of the group and could just see Jessie out of the corner of my eye. Then she was gone!! Somewhat stunned I turned to see where she had gone. Then I looked down. All I could see was her head peaking out of the plaza.

It turned out that one of the roughly four feet by four feet concrete slabs had turned under her feet and deposited her in a hole five feet deep. Luckily she was not hurt, although I cannot understand how she escaped injury. We helped her out of the hole and proceeded into the hotel.

The young woman at the desk had a great deal of difficulty in understanding what had happened until we took her outside and showed her the hole. When I asked her who owned the property she quickly replied that the city government owned it. Later she corrected herself and admitted that the hotel owned it. She offered us drinks of our choice and seemed somewhat surprised when we all chose hot chocolate.

I requested a meeting with the engineer in charge of the grounds. It was obvious to me that a drain line had been located too close to the slab. The slabs were bedded on a layer of sand over three feet thick and the drain water had washed the supporting sand away. In the course of the conversation I learned that there was an underground pipe that was supposed to collect the water and carry it away. However, the line was disconnected and all the water had been focused on the support for the slab. I don’t think I did anything that would have actually jeopardized Danish-American relations but I know that engineer went away feeling that he had just met one very irate American.

The rest of the visit was uneventful.


At July 6, 2008 at 9:17 PM , Anonymous Jim Patterson said...

Glen, is this something that happened recently, or is this a story from the past?

At July 7, 2008 at 7:19 AM , Blogger Glen Lazalier said...

Jim, it happened about six years ago. I was a member of a NATO scientific advisory group at the time.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home