New Travel Video: The High-Functioning Paranoiac’s Guide to Hitchhiking
The first ride, bless her, Linda, a middle-aged postal worker. Offered to take me all the way to Abbotsford, about 100K east of Vancouver. We talked and enjoyed each other’s company. She was easy to talk to.
Bless him, 22, five-days divorced, his wife’s wedding vows tattooed on his forearm. He had pot. We listened to Sublime. The fact that the singer was deceased tormented me in a way I’d not been tormented since listening to Kurt Kobain “The Man Who Sold the World,” while dangerously stoned back in Vancouver.
After it got unbearable, I asked my driver, his name was Abraham, to pull over and let me out so I could make a phone call. I told him to go on and that I’d get another ride. He asked who I was calling, I told him I had to call a girl. That’s so awesome, he said. He was stoned I think.
Two young men, late twenties, Italians, track-pants, sorta-skuzzy, eager, nervous. Cadillac Escalade a little too nice for them. Gut is saying no, no, no. I don’t get in the vehicle but instead:
I grab my phone, “Sorry, I gotta take this” I tell the Italians. I put the dead phone to my ear, and proceed to put on a damn good show:
Me: Yeah, I just got a ride.
Me: You said you weren’t coming.
Me: I don’t know, about 100 Kilo’s outside of Vancouver. Yes, I’m fine. I just got a ride.
Me: Yeah, highway 1, westbound. Look, I gotta…
Me: Are you sure? Because a second ago you told me you could care less if I…
Me: Fine. Yeah, I’ll be here.
Putting the phone back in my pocket.
To the Italians: Sorry guys, I appreciate the offer, but my ride is coming.
They were probably nice enough guys, but no reason not to be a little selective. The gut and/or THC-soaked basolateral amygdala was telling me to sit that one out. Damn good show!
Toyota Corolla, two car seats in the back. Late twenties, early thirties, African-American (ends up being actual American from NYC) — good vibes all the way. Gut says go, go, go.
Great conversation, we slowly open up to each other, slowly breaking the ice. Guy is an IT professional, grew up in Long Island.We are the same age, have very different lives. The ride lasts for a while. It becomes clear that, to some degree, we are both envious of the other’s life. It’s uneasy at points, but a good talk, a good ride. I tell him about my business and give him a card. I don’t tell everybody about my business. He gives me his advice. It doesn’t mean much to me but I appreciate it all the same. We depart in fine spirits. We are both Americans. Cool to think about in retrospect, but that had nothing to do really with our bond. We ride all the way to Vancouver.
I like Vancouver.