Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hitching Emmeloord to Amsterdam, 29 June 2008 (Written 3 July 2008)

Sunday was a glorious day sailing in Friesland. We left from Zwolle at 10am and by 11am we were checking out the sailboat in Balk.

At around 5pm, we headed back towards home. I had asked to be dropped at a petrol station when our routes split, so we pulled into the Texaco in Emmeloord. Inge had warned that Sundays are empty highways, but it definitely wasn’t the case. I don't think there’s any time in the Netherlands that the roads are empty. Anyway, Corianna ran around asking people for rides and I hung out at the car laughing at her. After a few minutes with no luck, I went to ask for rides too since it seemed that my friends wanted to wait until they saw I was ok.

Went over to a guy alone, buying a Red Bull and asked if he was headed south. He was going to Den Haag and said he could leave me somewhere convenient in Amsterdam. So in I went.

Meet Reza, from Iran, living in the Netherlands for the past 14 years. He is one of the kindest, gentlest, makes-you-feel-comfortable people I’ve ever gotten a ride from. Matches Luis in Brasil (Niko que saudade!) In the next 70 minutes, we spoke of how I keep getting my stupid tourist visa to Iran denied, my love for Persian food (thank you Khatereh), his truck driving job in Holland, how it took him 3 years to learn Dutch well (his English is perfect, he was educated in Iran), my love for Holland, his previous experiences with hitchhikers (he took a Germany guy from NL to Copenhagen), and I got a full intro to contemporary Persian music, of which some scarily resembled Reggaeton (agh – I hope this trend of Reggaeton taking over the world ends – soon).

He offered me his Red Bull several times, I declined, and he took a few of my Kaas Vlinders when I offered.

He pulled over to get out his GPS so that he could type in my destination address, and took me to my door, going really out of his way. Experiences like this are why I love hitching.

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