Picking up hitch-hikers can be dangerous. While it’s a nice gesture, and in some cases can even save lives, it’s also risky for both parties. These people picked up hitch-hikers and lived to tell the tale.
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It was after this one night my friend and I went clubbing in Toronto. I was pretty drunk, so we decided to leave. We stepped outside and she pulled over a car and told me to get in. The Uber took her to an intersection and dropped her off, and I stayed on because I lived a lot further away.
I got to talking with the driver, and he was the nicest Uber driver I’d ever had – he even stopped to let me pee at a gas station! When I got home I grabbed my phone to give him a really good rating… that’s when I realized that he wasn’t an Uber driver. My very intoxicated friend had just pulled over a random car last night and demanded the driver take us home.
He actually added me on Facebook and Instagram that day. Pretty cool guy… but things could have easily gone a lot worse that night.
Bad Gal Re Re
My husband and I were leaving the grocery store and witnessed a big dramatic mulch theft. Yes, someone grabbed a bag of mulch, tossed it in their jeep and sped off, tires squealing, jumping curbs…it was confusing and hilarious. The high school clerks were mostly indifferent, but there were a couple employees freaking out and running after the jeep. Then we turn around and there is this girl standing there with her jaw hanging open, and holding a box of donuts. She just looks at us and says/demands “I need a ride. I don’t know why he just did that. That’s my cousin.” The employees who were freaking out, kind of turn and start coming toward her now that the jeep is gone. So we were like “uh..ok lets go.” She lived like 2 miles away in the mobile home park, sure enough the jeep was parked in the drive. For some reason her cousin just totally ditched her for a $4 bag of mulch.
I was dropping a friend off at the airport, and some middle-aged guy with luggage came up to my car and asked for money for a taxi to where his hotel was. He kind of didn’t know the city’s geography, and a taxi would have cost around $80. He didn’t look to happy when I told him that, and explained that he had just flown in from a job interview in Detroit, and was in town for another job interview the following day.
After hemming and hawing, I let him jump in, and drove him the 40 miles to his hotel. He was apparently an engineer, who I kid you not, worked on rockets, the Space Shuttle, and other various flying things. He said he was on his last, and these job interviews were the last bit of hope for him. We just talked the whole time about his previous jobs, and various 3d rendering software technology.
it was my first time picking up a hitchhiker, and he wasn’t creepy at all.
The trick is to be the weird driver. That way, if you pick up a weirdo you can handle their crap.
My friend and I have had some hilarious times picking up hitch-hikers in his van with that idea in mind. We’re in a band and have tons of costume pieces in the van and start putting stuff on depending on who we pick up and acting the part.
Last week we picked a guy up on the highway who was trying to get home from a job site. We put on some Russian military hats and jackets we found at Goodwill recently, put on stern faces, and pretended we didn’t speak English. Half an hour of silence and us turning around and staring at him oddly every few minutes. Then he told us to stop so he could get out, either because we were close to his destination or he didn’t want to be in the van anymore. As he was climbing out we both turned around with wild smiles and I yelled “Have a good night, man!”. He looked so confused and just watched us till we turned a corner down the street and couldn’t see him anymore.
I’ve picked up plenty of hitchhikers in my life. One I remember was a 28ish year old guy who was trying to get to Madison to be a test subject for a new ADD medication. Apparently they lock you up for a couple months, regulate your diet and exercise, then give you a few grand and set you free. Y’know, if the meds they’re testing don’t kill you. Anyway, I got him another 50 miles down the road before I had to turn south. He was nice though.
This past June, right before our wedding, my (now ex) husband picked up 3 crusty kids and their dog. They were hitching their way to a Rainbow Gathering, so he brought them home to me. We fed them and packed them goody bags full of aspirin and hand sanitizer, along with 10 pounds of dog food, then drove them to the next state. They were a nice bunch of kids.
I’ve also not picked up hitchhikers who I thought were suspect, but I usually go to the nearest gas station and put together a bag of water, gaterade and granola bars and bring it to them. Even if I think they look creepy, I still don’t want them to go hungry.
When I was twelve or thirteen my Dad and I were on our way home from somewhere a few hours away and he decided it would be a good idea to pick up the hitchhiker on the side of the interstate holding a cardboard sign with the name of our town on it. As soon as we picked him up it was obvious that he was homeless. He smelled terribly and when asked him where he lived he asked just to be dropped off downtown. His name was Stepps. He turned out to be very nice and down to earth. He told us about hitchhiking all over the country and what he had seen. Before we dropped him off we bought him some McDonald’s and then never saw him again. My dad’s first words when he got out of the car were, “Don’t tell your mother about this.”
I picked a guy up one time who started out being friendly. He then made some joke about stabbing me with this strange laugh. Like it was a joke but not really… So I told him to get out.
I tried to surprise my girlfriend by taking a train out to Kingston ON to surprise her the night of her birthday, which she wasn’t expecting me due to my late in the school year lack of funds.
So after getting to the train station I hop off and hail a cab only to hop in and realize I left my wallet on the train, in the stupid seat back pouch. So I got out, and started huffing around trying to text my gf’s friends to see if they even had a car at school to come pick me up. A young girl walked up to me and started making small talk asking me if I went to Queens, the school I was headed. I told her my situation and she offered to give me a ride with her friends who were picking her up.
Two more girls show up and pick us up, and I tell them my lame tale. They were stopping to get booze on the way back and bought me a cheapo bottle of wine to get things back on track with my surprise for my gf. I couldn’t believe it. They dropped me off at my gf’s and creeped me through the windows just well enough to see her do the old jump and wrap the legs around hug. The girls added me on Facebook, and I realized through looking at our mutual friends that the driver was my second cousin! We chat a lot more often than before, which was never.
First time I offered a person a ride was when this girl was sobbing her eyes outside a bank I go to regularly. She was surrounded by a lot of adults and seeing it that I was the youngest and didn’t have any job duties, I volunteered to drive this young lady home. So she sat in my car still crying and saying “I don’t want to get hurt anymore” repeatedly. I’m not the best person to cheer someone up but I managed to say it’ll be alright. So as I drove her back to her place, she started opening up and saying bits and pieces of what happened. From what I understood, she was 26 years old, got pregnant in high school at 16, her parents disowned her, she’s pregnant again, and her “boyfriend” is now leaving her. At this point, she was really comfortable about telling me her life’s story, and she asked if I could drive around some more or stop by a park so we can talk. Being the nice guy, I said sure… and then she asked another favor, to buy her a pack of smokes and a few drinks… (I was 20 at the time)… and then she asked me to drive her to a cell phone company to add more minutes to her temporary phone. By this time, I felt like her servant… anyways… I said I had to go back for dinner because it was getting late and she sorta hinted that she didn’t want me to go. lol. I insisted and I finally drove her back to her place. Then this guy comes out of the apartments who I believe to be her boyfriend, and she says to me “oh crap, he’s going to kill you”… but I didn’t care and he came up to my car, she got out, they hugged, and he looked at me and said thanks. My first time giving someone a ride.
Spoke with a tourist I met here in Australia, and he was telling me of two backpackers who decided to travel up north separately, but by hitchhiking. They would be picked up by random cars and trucks, and sometimes one would progress hundreds of kilometers ahead of the other, while at other times they discovered they were in the same town. There was even an instance where one had been given a ride in a semi-trailer, and found his friend walking along a remote highway. Reunited!
I was in the car with my brother when we picked up a hitch-hiker. His name was Cameron, was trying to get to the local bus stop to get on a bus to see his girlfriend, I think he was 18 or so. No complications whatsoever, it was a 5 minute car ride, we just made some small talk. After we dropped him off, my brother said to him “Have a nice life”.
I thought it was funny at the time, but then I realized that I was never going to see that guy in my life again (which is still a ridiculous idea to me whenever I think of it).
My father was working nights at an airport and I was his transportation back and forth. One night he calls me to show up early. As I pull up, my father is standing next to a small man with several boxes. My father instructs me to load up the boxes; they are cold and wet. The man gets inside and my father tells me to drive to downtown. It was a quiet ride. We get near downtown and my father directs me towards the Greyhound bus station. I help unload the boxes and I wander around as my father talks a little bit with the man. Eventually, the man boards a bus and my father comes back to the car with one of the boxes. I ask “Who’s that?” and “What’s in the boxes?” and my father just smiled. We eventually get home and he brings in the box. My mother joins us as we await for my father’s revelation. We all look over his shoulder as he pulls out….
Fish; frozen salmon, to be specific.
Apparently, the man was a fisherman that had been working in Alaska. He had saved up to transport himself and his cargo, but couldn’t complete his goal of selling off some of his fish to get enough for cab fare to downtown. My father, always a generous man, had offered to give the man a ride for free. As a thank you for the ride, and for even giving him the time of day to ask if he needed anything, he gave my father a giant box of frozen salmon.
We ate salmon for a while.
I did it once and I’ll never do it again.
I just got off of an 11pm work shift and had to drive 15 minutes home. I stopped at a gas station and a 30-35 year old man said he was stranded and needed a car ride back to his house to get money. I knew the story sounded weird but I said hey what the hell let’s help this guy out. As we were driving he was really fidgety and anxious. He kept rubbing his leg back and forth and rubbing the back of his head as if he was waiting for something. I thought to myself this guy is going to rob me. My son was a few months old at the time and his rattle was rattling in his empty car seat in the back. I told the guy about it and talked a little about my son. The dude was making me nervous by his body language. I told myself I’d flip the truck over before he’d steal my crap. I had my seat belt on and he didn’t. I ended up taking the guy to this neighborhood and he was looking at all these houses. I kept asking if that’s the one or not because the dude had me on high alert at this point. Just a weird situation. Anyway, he asked me for some money so I gave him $10.
I’m pretty sure he wanted to rob me by his behavior in the car. I’d like to think between my son’s rattle making noises, and me giving him $10 he changed his mind. I still remember his face and looked for him on the news or newspaper. Never again will I give a stranger a ride home. Screw that.
My friend used to walk to work carrying an empty gas can. He always got picked up.
I used to pick up hitch hikers with my friend in his old beater car… the key would slide out of the ignition when it was turned on, it was so worn out. We used to pick people up, give em a beer and converse until they asked where we were going… then we told them that we just broke out of jail! (no key lol so they’d think we stole the car). Once a guy jumped out of the car at about 20 mph he was so scared!!!
My roommate (a straight laced, straight-A girl) and I were at the college grocery one night at about 1AM buying foodstuffs, when a very skinny woman approached me. She said she and her husband had their car repossessed in the lot, and will I give them a ride to their apartment (about 3 miles away). So I tell them, “sure, let me finish up,” and I’ll give them a ride.
My roommate was having none of it and was very upset. I told her, “it’s okay, stuff happens to people, sometimes you should just be nice.”
So we finish at the checkout, get the bags and the people, go to my car, and drive them to the apartment. They get out, no harm done.
About 2 weeks later I’m back at the grocery with my roommate, and the same woman with a different man comes up. Same story, car repossessed, etc. I tell them, “sure I’ll give you a ride, just don’t lie. He’s not your husband, you used this line on me a couple of weeks ago. I don’t know what he is, and I don’t want to know, but sure I’ll do it.” She was taken aback, and seemed surprised, but accepts anyway.
Again, roommate is pissed, again no incidents.
I suspect the woman was a sex worker, and these were her clients, but who am I to judge. As long as they don’t hurt anyone, I don’t care.
Just about every time I see someone I stop. I kind of got out of the habit in the last couple of years, moved to a big city and all that, my girlfriend wasn’t too stoked on the practice. Then some stuff happened to me that changed me and I am back to offering rides habitually.
This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of gas situation. Each of these times this shit happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show. The 4 gas stations I asked for a gas can at told me that they couldn’t loan them out “for my safety” but I could buy a really crappy 1-gallon one with no cap for $15.
But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of English. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.
He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of 6 in tow. I was on the side of the road for close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice. Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks English. He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it. He produces a saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. We rolled it over, put his jack on top, and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those collapsible ones and I wasn’t careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off. Crap.
No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very happy man. We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to put a 20 in the man’s hand but he wouldn’t take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could. I thanked them up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for being so awesome. She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home. She asks if I have had lunch and when I told her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best freaking tamale I have ever had.
So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and just about everyone else on that stretch of road, working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. Wow…
But we aren’t done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am starving at this point and what do I find inside? My freaking $20 bill! I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy rolls his window down. He sees the $20 in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won’t take it. All I can think to say is “Por Favor, Por Favor, Por Favor” with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:
“Today you…. tomorrow me.”
Rolled up his window, drove away, his daughter waving to me in the rear view. I sat in my car eating the best tamale of all time and I just cried. Like, bawling. It has been a rough year and nothing has broke my way. This was so out of left field I just couldn’t deal.
In the 5 months since I have changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and, once, went 50 miles out of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won’t accept money. Every time I tell them the same thing when we are through:
“Today you…. tomorrow me.”
For the past year I’ve tried to pull over when I see someone by a broken down car. I don’t drive much, but I’ve probably pulled over about fifteen times. This past summer I was on my way back to school and saw a guy who was sitting in his car on the side of the road so I pull over to see if he needed any help. He was broken down, had no phone, and was 2 hours from his home so I let him use my phone to call whoever he needed. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t pick up a hitchhiker because… well… I don’t know what would happen. But after he got off the phone I asked if he needed anything else and he asked for a ride to the nearest gas station (20 minutes away). I didn’t even think about it and told him to get in the car. If I had thought before answering I doubt I would have offered… but I gave him a ride and no trouble came to me.
I felt terrible for the guy. He was 25 and was already divorced and lived 3 hours from his kids. So every other weekend he drove three hours in his early 90s piece of crap car to see his kids. I knew he hated his life except for his kids… good gosh I could tell he loved his kids. I can only hope that someday I’m as loving of a father as he is.
I picked up some guy by my school once who needed a ride to his apartment about 10-15 mins away. He needed to get back to his apartment because his brother’s kids were being dropped off there by a bus and he would have missed them otherwise. He ended up talking to me about how DNA is like a programming language (I’m a software engineering major) and like all programming languages, someone needs to give it meaning for it to do anything. That’s why he believed in God. Someone had to give DNA meaning, or else it wouldn’t do anything at all. I thought it was a pretty interesting concept, though I still don’t believe in God.
After graduating high school, myself and 4 friends decided to take a long road trip over the summer and Glacier National Park was our Mecca for the trip. We found ourselves camping in the middle of nowhere in the woods of NW Montana, some 25 miles north of Missoula.
In the morning, I woke up in the drivers seat of my car to see some dude walking by in the road which was 40 yards away from our campsite. The guy walking couldn’t see us just passing by but I could see him. I was still half drunk so I decided to yell at him, not even thinking that it could be the owner of the land that we were illegally camping on. He did a 180 and stared straight at me and began walking towards me. He had a single backpack, a big tree limb for a walking stick and looked exhausted and hungry. He looked like someone had sucked his soul out of him. My friends had heard me yelling for him so they had stirred awake to find to their surprise, “Garth” sitting in one of our lawnchairs eating our stale Doritos like he hadn’t eaten anything in days. We would later learn that was actually true.
It was about 10 AM by the time we decided to leave the campsite and head back to Missoula to find food. Garth hopped in the car and began to tell his story of how he ended up in the middle of nowhere Montana. He sat shotgun and talked while my friend sat behind him, ready for Garth to try to kill us or something. The story that Garth told us was freaking weird. Some dude he met in Missoula promised him some work on his land. Apparently, the guy bought some land and needed some trees and brush cleared so he could start building a house. He said he would let Garth stay on his land for the night and meet him there in the morning with some tools and some food so they could work all day to clear this brush. Well, one day went by, then another…..and another and another. The guy never showed up and Garth was on this guy’s land for 5 FREAKING DAYS WITH NO FOOD OR SHELTER. He luckily had a stream of water on “his land” that Garth drank to keep hydrated but catching food was next to impossible. He said he could hear coyotes very close to him at night and one morning he woke up to a Bull Moose 30 yards away from, snorting and stomping its hooves on the ground, ready to charge. Garth ran up a tree and stayed there for the rest of the day.
He said he didn’t want to leave the land because he had no idea where he was and he was hoping that the guy would show up to take him back to town. It wasn’t until this particular morning that he said he was so hungry and cold that he thought he was going to die if he didn’t start walking somewhere. Garth said he started following a logging road with the hope it would lead him somewhere. He had been walking all night with no signs of anything. He actually thought he was walking in circles. He said that the coyotes were howling and he was the most scared he had ever been in his life. We were the first sign of people he had seen in almost 6 days.
After told us this story we were said we wanted to buy him a lunch and some beers and a coat. He immediately declined…he seemed embarrassed by the situation, especially because some 18 year olds were going to buy him this stuff. We understood where he was coming from but this guy just had 6 days of hell in the woods and he deserved a hot meal. He finally said he would eat lunch with us so we took him to a chinese buffet were he ate down 4 fat plates, LIKE A BOSS!
After lunch he asked us to take him to the homeless shelter in town so he could get a shower and get a bed for the night. We agreed and took him across town to drop him off. The car ride over was quiet, mainly because Garth dozed off, probably from his exhaustion. He was still sleeping when we got to the homeless shelter. We woke him up and he thanked us a million times and stumbled into the shelter. My friends and I were floored by his story. We didn’t say much as we hit the road north to Glacier National Park, until we noticed something on the floor by the front seat. His BACKPACK.
We were 40 miles north of town and didn’t even think about what to do. We pulled over and turned around to take his backpack to him at the shelter. We contemplated opening it for a good 15 minutes. We thought it would be wrong and that we wouldn’t want someone to do that to our pack. But our curiosity got the best of us and we decided to open it. Garth was too EPIC to not find out what he had in there to aid in his wilderness adventure. We joked about what would be in there – a bloody knife, a head, some sort of body part. What we found was truly unbelievable. We found out that Garth was Bi-Polar and Diabetic based on his medications. He had some oral glucose gel to combat his low blood sugar, a blood sugar machine and zoloft (anti-depressant). It blew my mind that this man, a diabetic would even think about staying in the woods for this long while knowing he was a Diabetic. We also found a notebook that had some sketches and writings, mainly about his travels around the pacific northwest. I wanted to read more but we had reached the shelter to return his pack.
Garth was a survivor man if I had ever met one. We thought he could use a little help so we put $100 in his pack before we gave it back to him. He was inside sitting at a table when we arrived with his pack. I held out the pack and just said, “I think you forgot something man”. He stood up and ran over to me, grabbed it and then gave me a huge bear hug and started crying. He told me, while he was hugging me, that he thought that he had just lost everything he owned after we dropped him off. It was weird but I felt like I had to hug him back, so I did. He followed us back out to our car and thanked us again and offered us a cup of coffee, we declined and said we had to be on our way to get there before dark. He understood and even offered to take a look at our car’s oil and other stuff before we headed out! We said no, said goodbye and drove off to the corner.
We were stuck at a traffic light and I could still see him in the review mirror, probably 50-60 yards behind us. He knelt down to dig through his backpack. He took out his glucometer, his notebook and then the $100 we had put in there. He saw it and started running after us, either to thank us or to try to give it back. The light turned green and we drove off before he got to us. I stood out the car window gave him a wave and a Peace Sign. He responded with a salute and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. We drove off and we never saw him again.
This was our encounter with Garth, the world’s manliest hobo. Wherever you are Garth, Godspeed my good man!
First time I picked up hitch hikers was when I was in Banff on a course and decided to go skiing. I had reserved a small rental car, but ended up with a Dodge Charger that looked like a hearse. On my way back to town from the hill I saw a couple of kids with snow boards and their gear – offered them a ride and they were dumb-founded, readying themselves to walk quite a ways carrying their boards.
They told me that they always walk because nobody ever stops for them with their boards. By chance I had this massive rental car and lots of time to kill.
The look of stunned appreciation from people not expecting a favor is awesome.
I was on I-5 again, at the north on ramp for Weed, California… I kid you not, that is a real place and easily verifiable. This logger guy dropped me off, and the very first car to come by stopped to pick me up.
It was an expensive-looking brand-new truck, but the guys inside were these two huge tattooed bikers. Normally in that sorta thing I just sit by the door and get ready to jump… but these guys told me I was sitting in the middle and glared in a way that….well, they scared the crap out of me.
We drove for 2 hours north to Yreka, where we stopped for gas. Any attempt at conversation was met with stone silence from the driver, or the mantra of “52 trucks, 52 weeks, 52 towns… we will make a million freaking dollars” from the passenger. When we stopped at Yreka, I seriously considered running, but I was going to Seattle and they had done not a thing other than be super odd. So I hopped back in, and the madness continued.
About 4 hours… or 6… we got to Eugene. The driver pulled over under an overpass and said “Hey. We are going to a meeting. You got the balls to come or should I leave you here?” (I paraphrased a bit, it was a scary invite more than 10 years ago). I said “leave me here” and off they went.
One night I got off work pretty late, probably around midnight. I lived in a not-great part of a not-great town, but this area was commercial and not bad. I saw a waitress walking across the road, much older than me, and she looked so tired. I could totally empathize because I felt exactly that tired as well. So I rolled up to her and asked if she needed a ride. She briefly sized me up and got in. After we settled where she was headed, she told me, “you shouldn’t pick up strangers.” I replied to her, “you shouldn’t take rides from them either.” and that was all we said for the rest of the ride.
Late one winter night, I decided to visit my mother. She was living in a pretty bad neighborhood having recently separated from my father. She lived on a dead end that the city didn’t bother plowing much. I got down there, realized her car wasn’t there and tried to turn around to go home. I got REALLY stuck. Young, female, alone at night in a sketchy place. Out of nowhere, like four young guys showed up – they look like some bad guys. They approached my car without saying anything, me feeling like a sitting duck. And then they just pushed me out of the rut and left.
It was a terrible idea.
I was driving back into town one day and see this car on the side of the road about 30 minutes out. A little bit later I see this guy in a business suit carrying a duffel bag, so I slowed down cause I figured I was close and it’s just some dude whose car ran out of gas a little too soon. I pull over, he throws his bag in the back of my car, and I’m like “Hey, where you headed?” He just glares at me and says, “Just take me into town.” So I was a little nervous and pretty annoyed. Then for some dumb reason I asked him what he had in the bag and he said “None of your business.” So the whole rest of the drive I’m just thinking this can’t be real… thank god it was still light out… I was getting more and more nervous. We get into town, I stop at the first gas station cause I want him out of there as soon as possible at this point… and I drive away and make it home alive. Then later I go out to get my stuff out of my car and realized the guy left his freaking bag.
My friend and I were pulling onto the highway yesterday when suddenly a kid waived us down and ran up to our window. He was carrying a suit case, the big ones like we take on international vacations and it seemed as if he had been walking for some time. He asked us if he could get a ride to “Grayhun”. We both looked at each other and understood that he was saying Greyhound, and the only Greyhound bus stop in town was at this gas station a few miles down the road. It was cold and windy out and we had some spare time so we told him to jump in.
Initially thoughts run through your head and you wonder… I wonder what’s in that suitcase…is he going to put a knife to my neck from behind the seat… a chopped up body?… but as we began to drive I saw the sigh of relief through the rear view mirror and realized this kid is just happy for a ride. When we got to the gas station, my friend walked in and double checked everything to make sure it was the right spot but to our surprise the final bus for Houston left for the day. The next bus at 6:00 p.m. was in a town 25 miles over. We tried explaining this to him, I should have paid more attention in the Spanish I and II they forced us to take in High School. The only words I can really say are si and comprende. My friend and I said screw it let’s drop him off, and turned to him and said “listen we are going to eat first making hand gestures showing spoons entering mouth and we will drop you off after” but homeboy was still clueless and kept nodding.
We already ordered Chinese food and began driving in that direction and when we got there, he got out of the car and went to the trunk as if the Chinese Restaurant was the bus stop. We tell him to come in and eat something first, leave the suitcase in the car. He is still clueless. When we go in, our food was already ready. We decided to eat there so he could eat as well. When the hostess came over, she looked Spanish so I was like hey listen we picked this guy up from the street, he missed his bus and the next one is 25 miles over can you tell him that after we are done eating we will drop him off its ok no problems… and she was kinda taken by it and laughed, translated it to the guy, and for the next 10 mins all he kept saying was thank you. He had very broken English, but said he was from Ecuador and he was in America looking for a job to make money for his family back home. Shortly after, we arrived at our destination and said farewell. Dropped him off at some store where he would have to sit on a bench outside for the next hour… but I did my best. I hope he made it to wherever he had to go.
My man got picked up, fed sweet and sour chicken, and got a ride to a location 30 mins away. I hope he will do the same for someone else one day.
When I was in college there was a transit strike so I just went to the bus stop and stuck out my thumb, same as every other student. I got to school way faster than I did on the bus, for weeks. Had to kind of time it with the heavy school traffic though.