As part of a series of blogs about RAKs from my days as a hitchhiker, I offer these stories involving radically different sized vehicles. They show that everyday heroes come not only in all different sizes, shapes and colors but also in all different conveyances.
Imagine my surprise when an empty bus roared past me and then came to a stop in a cloud of dust several hundred yards ahead of me. I half walked and half ran toward the bus, thinking it would be absurd for a bus to stop for a hitchhiker. When I reached the massive bus, the driver did in fact offer me a ride. . . in his empty bus. I chose the front seat closest to him, and we discussed the passing Portuguese scenery as best we could with schoolboy French and fractured English combined with gestures, which unfortunately required him to look away from the road. It was an exciting ride as a result.
While hitching along the resort studded Spanish Mediterranean coast, I had to rely on the kindness of owners of unconventional vehicles. (Vacationers and the wealthy resort set along the Costa Brava drove their cars right past me.) After getting rides in a variety of trucks and other work-a-day vehicles, I got a ride on a Vespa. The kind-hearted operator of the motor scooter, an anti-apartheid South African, shouted to me—as we purred along the beautiful coast–about the misdeeds of Prime Minister Ian Smith of Rhodesia. I shouted back my take on, among other things, the inflexible Ian Smith who ruled the country just north of South Africa. He had insisted that whites would rule that part of the world for a thousand years despite comprising only a minority of the population. [Not long after, he ate crow as Rhodesia transformed itself into Zambia and Zimbabwe.]
Next blog: an amazing hitchhiking tale involving a Random Act of Kindness twofer.
Do you have an RAK story to share?