Going My Way?

The next time you see one, STOP!

The Oz outback in full effect
The view outside
Alicia and Russell found me in Port Fairy
No, I got in the car.
Not the amazing tourist trap I thought it was gonna be
The famous statue
When was the last time you picked up a hitchhiker?

As Americans, we are taught that only fools and freaks
pick up random people standing by the side of the road. Nowadays, only my
friend Billy, is brave enough to criss-cross the USA with his thumb.

Urban legends, common sense, and protective moms have
scared the rest of us into flooring it if we see a smile and a sign on the
side of the road. Yes, you can tell me of the crimes, the murders, rapes,
and muggings that happen, but even though planes crash, ships sink, and
drivers crash, we still use those tried-and-true methods to get around.

I think the USA hitching tradition, for it was very
strong until recently, died when the car and license became affordable to
the majority of Americans. Then, only poor, and therefore undesirable
people didn’t have their own car or bus/plane ticket to get around.

In Germany today, an advanced western nation with high
road, car, and license taxes, (and murders/rapes/muggings) one can still
hitch w/o even a second’s hesitation, for owning a car is still
prohibitively expensive for a majority of the population, especially the

With all that in mind, and me in Australia, I decided to
use the age-old method that my parents used in the early 1970’s to get
around this country. So far, I’ve heard the same 1990 Sydney
hitchhiker-killer horror story replayed by each driver. Yet, I easily made
it from Sydney to Canberra, a three or four hour drive, in six hours.

Tomorrow, I shall try my luck again, by heading to
Melbourne via the famous "dog on a tucker box" statue. I hope
this email does not jinx me, for I am dreaming of hitching, not only to
Melbourne, then Adelaide, but to the city on the western edge of the
continent, Perth.

Oh, and this is no small feat for Perth is 3,000 miles
and one large desert from here (think DC to LA).

  1. I thank God I am as honest as any man living that is an old man and no honester than I. chuck When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past, I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.