Welcome to Awkward Abroad! We shall take a look at all the possible awkward shit that can happen to you when hitchhiking! Today there’s a story about this time a Turkish truck driver tried to buy me lingerie, out of the goodness in his heart. I guess.
It was the holy month of Ramadan* 2014, and this friendly guy picked me up in Bulgaria as I was hitchhiking to Georgia (the country, not the state) in record time. Somewhere at a rest-stop/service station aimed at Turkish truckdrivers** somewhere in Bulgaria, we made a stop. There we and some other Turkish colleagues of his went for dinner and some freshening up. After my shower I got back into the shop/restaurant where he guided me through all the products in the shop. I wasn’t really interested in anything (neither do I have money), so I just walked on, but at the pile of lingerie in the shop he stopped and offered to buy me this pink I-don’t-know-what-it’s-called-but-it-has-lace thingy and I kindly declined. Then he got the lady who owned the shop – that sold anything from pasta to pliers – to try to convince me of letting him buy that shit for me. I still don’t know to this day whether he had some ulterior motives or whether it was because I don’t wear bras and he wanted to give me something like it because my boobs might look floppy (I disagree). Anyway, it would send the wrong message if I coaxed. Wisdom tells you to not let strangers buy you lingerie. It has been passed on from my great-great-great-grandmother to my mum and me. Still made for a great Awkward Abroad moment and kept me cautious all night when I was sleeping in the truck!
*Among other people, “travelers” don’t need to observe the holy month, of which the main emphasis is fasting, i.e. not eating, not drinking between sunrise and sunset. As far as I’ve heard of, no Muslim truck driver fasts, so you can get into their trucks without thinking he’ll pass out somewhere before sundown.
**You didn’t know this, but this is a specialty in Europe and beyond to make Turkish truckdriver friendly rest-stops