27 Feb 2009

Bugging highway patrol >:)

Posted by walterheck

I went on my way to Dijon. This was quite possibly the worst possible ay in the life of a hitcher: long waiting times, taking the wrong highway, ending up off of the highway because the driver thinks he knows better then you do, etc. To top it off, my friends sent me a message that they wanted to focus all their time on snowboarding and thought it was better if I didn’t come to see them. Kinda sucked, but looking at the cost of wintersport holidays definitely understandable.
When the sun was already going down, I was still around 300Km away from Dijon. Luckily I was close to Strassburg, where I know some surfers. I just started pondering alternative plans when a car pulled up. I got in and within moments it turned out that the girl was actually going to Geneva! That meant she was passing Dijon, but it also meant that since my plans had now changed, it might be possible for me to go to my sister’s place directly, bypassing Dijon altogether.

I made some phone calls and in the end it turned out to not be the best idea to go harass my sister and her boyfriend during a working week in the middel of the night. No problem though, as I didn’t mind following through on my original plan: goign to Dijon. I hadsoem very good conversations with the girl and she dropped me off just outside of Dijon around 21.00 in the pitchdark.

Luckily in this part of France most highways are toll-roads and I was very close to a Peage (tollbooths). I walked to th other side, put on my safety vest, made a sign and started hitching underneath a streetlight. This was definitely the best place I could find and I was in a saef location too. nevertheless, within minutes a highway security car pulled up. The guy started snapping at me even before he had gotten out of his car. Very rude and impolite he was shouting at me that I couldn’t be there and it was forbidden, yadda, yadda. I was on the edge of a parking lot for crying out loud. I was annoyed by the way he was handling me and that he was not at all sensitive to my side of things: 0 degrees celsius, pitch dark, late at night and no transportation besides my thumb.
He told me to go to the next exit and try from the onramp there. I was cold, angry (yes, I too can get angry from time to time :) ) and unhappy. I started walking to the exit and instead of trusting me the guy started following me, driving/pushing behind me. That did it. I don’t like to do things like this,but something in me snapped and I decided to annoy as much of him as possible. I started walking extremely slow and kept thumbing every car that passed by. Once we got to the exit he stopped because he didn’t want to have to go through the exit and turn around and get back onto the highway. I stopped too, forcing him to drive into the exit to push me out of it. Haha, suits him :)
As soon as I was on the exit, I hopped over the railing and went onto the onramp and started hitching again. This is what he had told me to do, but still he was waiving his arms at me and being angry. I felt horribly satisfied. Just as he was about to take his next step, a car pulled up and took me in. makes you wonder why we hitchers have such a bad image, huh? Well, it was my first time I ever did anything like that in close to 20.000 Km. Compare that to the average assholes you meet in everyday traffic and suddenly I don’t feel so bad about it anymore :)

The driver dropped me off in the center of Dijon. I walked to the nearest McDonald’s for some free wifi to look up the phone number of my hosts. Yes, I had forgotten that too :) I found the number and called my hosts. They were very welcoming and friendly and I made my way over to their place. They are hardcore fans, so we had a very nice hardcore vs metal discussion. For some reason hardcore fans seem to be very strict about it being completely different from metal. I don’t necessarily see that difference so much :)
They were really nice guys, and although they were quite new to CS, they were absolutely not new to hosting. They were organisers of many a hardcore festival, and many times the bands would sleep at their home.

I had to leave the next morning. Again, a bit sad I didnt have more time to get to know these wonderful people a bit more. Now, since my plans with my friends at wintersport fell through, I had needed a new plan. I had contacted Vince a cs buddy of mine who lives in the east of Switzerland. We have met many times before at cs meetings. The day we met I walked into my house to find him and 15 Parisian invaders in my living room, ready for the first Sinterklaas meeting in Rotterdam.
Only one downside to this plan: 450 Kilometers of hitchhiking ahead of me. More in the next post.

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