Awkward Abroad #1: Trucker tries to buy me Lingerie

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… Read more >

Types of drivers younh hitch: #2 the Hippie Van

The hippie van has become a rarity on the roads of Europe, but on certain trails outside of the EU these guys are omnipresent like nothing ever changed. Sure, they carry a MacBook Pro with them and their views might not be as idealistic anymore, nonetheless there are still young people hitting the road in preferably a VW minivan (I dig the term “Scoobydoo van”) with graffiti on the outside and a strong stench of marihuana on the inside. Yes, the Hippie Van screams “I’ve got drugs! Drugs people! Come check it out!” So when hitchhiking with these people in a country where weed is illegal and there is always a big manhunt out on drugs (like Mexico), you can expect a couple of police checks at the very least, but since weed is for sharing, you can get *stoned while rolling to your destination for free. Just make sure that when the police stops you and a situation happens,… Read more >

Types of drivers you hitch: #1 the 6-gear business(wo)man

This is one of my favorite hitches of all time, mostly because of the sheer efficiency of these people and because they have well maintained and comfortable cars. You will only encounter this guy at a service station, usually with an espresso in his right hand and his car keys in the other. He might stop his car for you just after he was driving away from the service station. His suit jacket is on a clothing hanger on the back of his chair, the suitcase is in the trunk and his leather bag filled with papers is on the back seat - also leather. You put your backpack on the back seat as well, because there is space and he can’t be bothered to get out and open the trunk. He is driving at the very least 300 KM today to some big city. Your destination is on his way. Once you’re in the car he will ask you… Read more >

Panama’s Border

Welcome to Panama! Yesterday’s bordercrossing picture from Costa Rica to Panama, hitching into David around sundown with yet another good Samaritan from Honduras. It was a tight call whether I could cross, but I made it! The Panamese immigration officer asked me for my (fake) flight ticket to Madrid and it worked, then he asked Read more >