Sunday, 8 July 2018

Hitching: A-A

So here's an excerpt of a time this year where I waited 5 hours, was offered one lift going the wrong way and decided to give up and get the bus. I'm including it on this page because the experience still put me into the frame of mind that hitching puts me in, whether or not I got any lifts. I'm not putting as much time into a write-up as normal, just copying in what I wrote on the day with a few notes.

"Metro line 1 to Pinar de Chamartín. 26/03/18 6-something AM

A long time since the last voyage in this direction. That was late August 2016 and I had the sun on my side...well for half a day, anyway.
Feels as if time already has a different edge to it. Does it come from choosing to perceive it in this way, or is a free day* the genuine requirement that allows this perception? Look forward to passing through the keyhole and getting on the highways. Every time is always the first time.


5.20pm Bus to San Sebastian/Bordeaux
Of course for 5 hours of standing there, reality did bear certain fruits. One was the sunrise.
Not spectacular by any standard, but the first I've seen in what feels like a long time.
For all of Tarkovsky's words on mise en scene in cinema betraying the raw incongruence of real scenes in life, I was presented with the arrival of a van of taoists disembarking beneath the row of blossom-laden cherry trees outside the Fountain of Mora.
(Fuente De Mora, train station)
Of course the driver came over to offer me a lift, except she was heading towards the national road to Barcelona.**
So at least I've proven to myself that hitching when you have a place and time to be in is a bad idea....though of course if I'd been struck by one of those occasional but completely possible (and perhaps statistically inevitable) miracle lifts, I wouldn't be saying this.
Any damage done by the experience? I don't think so. I know travelling like this is about patience, gratitude, time and hope, and today the thought that 'hitch-hiking is about forgetting' became a sort of mantra. I may've forgotten just what I meant by that.
Now on a surprisingly cheap bus up to Bordeaux and ready to soak up overland travel on the first warm spring day, in stimulating surroundings."

*What I mentioned before was a free day in terms of work. But it was the first day of the Easter holidays and I was falling in love with someone who at that point still lived in Bordeaux.
** She came walking up to me slowly with a calm smile, car keys in hand. Khakis and taoism-t shirt. First interaction in a few hours. The warmth of her personality and the scenery and arrival of that van made the whole morning worth it.