A lovely Polish man working in Liverpool that was told he had a couple of days free from work. Off he departed from Liverpool, took the ferry to Calais and was on his way to just inside the Polish border, all in one day. He looked tired.
Another guy that woke up in the South of Holland and decided to go all out and was headed for Copenhagen. If memory serves correctly he left us at Hanover. We were also his first pair of hitchhikers to pick up which was a bonus.
A man in Slovakia told us of ‘Socialist times’ and how he used to pick up every single soldier he saw with the thumb out. I jokingly said, ‘Good times!’ He said, ‘No, not good times.’
We hopped into a dude’s van in Serbia and he started screaming German at his dog. I was like, ‘oh, Deutsch?’ He turned and, in English, told me, ‘No, my dog is a German Sheppard. He speaks German,’ and off we went.
A gentleman in Romania who gave us a lift from Bucharest to Constanța but who could speak hardly any English. Kept screaming ‘DA, DA, DA’, which means ‘yes’. He made me laugh, he was a legend.
A girl from Bristol I met in Bratislava who had volunteered for 10 weeks in South America. No electricity, no water, no nothing. She had to drink from a source that dried up during the day and came back at night, resulting in stomach parasites. Interesting story.
A Macedonian fellow picked us up in Hungary; himself and his pals were heading from Skopje to Berlin. He had no English but he gave me lovely pumpkin seeds.
A Hungarian man told me he liked Shamrock Rovers. I still laugh about it.
Another person we stayed with in Romania had a passport full of Asian visas. He literally had no space to fit anymore stamps. It was beautiful.
In Serbia, near a Russian copper mine, a dude gave us a lift that sieved for gold. He offered us to stay the night, he was really kind. We didn’t in the end but it was appreciated.
The countless locals who must have thought, ‘What/who/why the fuuuuck…’ at two completely foreign looking people looking completely lost on an average day for them. Some of them were purely astonished at our mileage, which always brightened our days.
The people on the road who just wanted to love everyone and everything. Makes you consider your perspectives on a lot of things. Coming back to the grime of everyday life is a lag; no ups without downs though.
And of course, our Chilean squatter friend. Much love. Nothing more need be said.