Austin – Lubbock pt.1 – How the Universe saved me

As a break from my 2016 hitch stories, I’ll tell you about the most cliche-American thing that has ever happened to me (and about the Universe taking care of me everywhere I go).

Before that though, I’d like to mention something that probably a lot of bloggers struggle with – the fact that a blog is very very very public (unless you want to secure it with a password, but then it all depends on your target for readers, I want a wide range of strangers to read my crazy amazing stories and therefore can not block them with a secret code). Fact: people I do and don’t know can read this. Fact: there’s my mom and potential employers among them; ergo = some stories will never be published.

Like this one. I was very close to deciding not to share it. I just thought that’s such a shame, I love this story, I love it so much – I’ll just skip parts. Oh, also I think these two stories are really one – it’s quite a long one though, so I’ll just cut it into pieces: How the Universe saved me and The most American nigh of all.

I was hitching from Austin to Lubbock. Tyler gave me a ride to Lampasas, dropped me there on a gas station and left me feeling happy about not committing to others and free flowing.Seriously, I was celebrating having these feelings and I guess that is why I was enjoying myself so much on that tour.

Here’s Tyler feeling zajebiscie:

The first car that stopped for me offered me sex for money. I said thank you and they went away. Same happened with the second car. The third one wasn’t even a car, just some cowboy coming out of the bushes and trying to convince me to just give him a blowjob, really nothing else. Oh great, that sounds so much better than the other two offers! [joke; really: joke.]

I looked at the road, said to myself: if I don’t stop anybody during that wave of cars, I’ll go to the toilet and right after a pickup truck stopped by me. The guy inside seemed weird, not scary though; as in: he was a little bit off, yet I did not feel the threat of him hurting me in any way. We chatted for two minutes and I asked if I could send his place to my mom [to Josh], as I still got a weird vibe from him. He wasn’t too happy, he agreed though. I took my time, waiting for him to react, making sure I press ‘send’ before I get into the car. I was hesitating for a little bit too long, so I decided to just shut the phone and step into the vehicle quickly.

‘Wait’ he says, ‘there’s a police car behind us’.

And indeed there was.

The cop came to us, and started asking questions about the situation. He was very obviously checking, if I wasn’t a prostitute and I didn’t take that as an insult, more as him knowing his area (‘mind you the three cowboys). In the end he asked us to present our documents, he took them away and wasn’t coming for a while.

Me and the weird guy in a cowboy hut (somebody told me in Mississippi: never trust a guy in a hut and yet I ignored – not forgot – it, as it was damn hot and I wanted to get to Lubbock sooner than later) started chatting, my feeling about him was not changing and really, just for a moment, I didn’t even care about it. I started panicking about my passport, my visa, something was taking that cop a long time, something wasn’t right.

Finally the policeman comes back, gives the guy his driver’s license back and when I want to reach for my papers, he asks me to step out of the vehicle. My heart’s beating even faster. I follow the cop to his car, he’s in front of me, very serious and silent. For a few seconds there I am panicking about getting deported. Once we’re by the car, he turns around, looks at me and asks:

‘What makes you trust that man?’

‘I don’t trust him’ I answer straight away, ‘I can’t trust him, I have just met him. And he’s weird but I don’t think he would hurt me’.

The policemen looks at me (now I see: his face says WORRIED), ‘I don’t want to tell you to do or not to do anything, but I have a piece of information I have to share with you and you will decide whether you want to go with that men or not’.

I agree, relieved it’s not about my documents.

‘That guy has spent 5 years in jail’ starts the cop and my mouth opens immediately, ‘for sexual harassment’ he continues, my jaw goes lower, ‘on a 6 years old boy’ he finishes – my chin goes even lower.

‘Fuck! I knew he was weird!’ I say in theatrical yelling sort of whisper, ‘but it’s very hot, I’m very late and I need to keep on going…’ I see in the guy’s eyes he won’t just leave me there, so I play it cool, ‘I guess I’m outside of his age or gender preference’ I joke. The cop doesn’t smile. ‘…I guess I will not go with him though, I’m a chick, I need to play it safe’.

The policemen offers to get my things, tell the guy off and then help me with my travel. After he brings my backpack and the guitar, we hit the road. He calls somebody and tells them I’m with him, going to Lubbock. He can only take me to the end of the county, as he’s on shift here, so he needs somebody else to take me further away. We talk a bit, he turns out to be actually a laid back dude.

He brought me to another policeman, who turned out to be his dad. Another great ride, he was so sweet. Then he got me another police car for another county. The last cop dropped me off on a gas station, insisted on me accepting some lunch money and gave me a Lampasas police pen which disappeared very soon. Aaargh, that would be such a cool souvenir!

That day the universe fell on my head to save me.
I was so close to making my first mistake about whom to get into a car with.
You may say  I have made that mistake, I was already in the vehicle. Yes, and no. I took his plates, I was watching his every move, I knew he had an off vibe and I had my hand on the knife for all the time that I was in his car.
Also maybe I wasn’t wrong – maybe he would not hurt me. He didn’t seem as if he’d wanted to. Again: I might have just not be in his type – a girl, and such an old one… Come on, it is a little bit funny!

Anyway. Thank you, Universe.

From there I’ve got a direct ride to Lubbock, where I was staying with Tyler’s friend Schmoo). My last lift was a guy whose name I’ve already forgotten (it’s not my most popular story), he was going to visit his son in College in Colorado. He told me about a 19 years old boy called Jacob Lavaro, a friend of his son’s. Lavaro used to bake hash brownies for him and his friends until one April day that the cops got him and now they’re pressing charges against him for the entire weight of brownies (400 instead of just weed’s worth. He was facing 10 years to lifetime in jail. Apparently a nice guy, good student, polite kid with a lot of friends. Not a dealer, just a user; facing mandatory minimum of 10 years for really just getting stoned with buddies; by eating cake. That’s the least gangsta use of drugs anybody has ever heard of and yet they were treating him like a criminal.

I followed the story. Attorney Mark Brunner said ‘As prosecutors we are bound by what the law is, not what the law should be or could be.’ and the law says that adulterants and diluents count as the drug mixture; luckily Brunner changed his mind about that later on and dropped the charges for a first-degree felony; Lavaro was being charged with two lesser felonies: marijuana buds + hash oil (the latest much more serious in Texas).

In the end it wasn’t that bad. In October Jacob pleaded guilty to second-degree felony in exchange for 7 years of probation.

How can one get into so much trouble for something which is a fully legal business in other parts of the same country? Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, D.C. Look at Texas! Houston and Dallas decriminalized possession of weed.

Oh, have I just fit in a third story here? Yes, I have. If you’ve made it that far, you deserve a prize. Even if you just scrolled it and read these words here – the prize’s yours. Watch this:

 

 

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Austin – Lubbock pt.1 – How the Universe saved me

How I got kicked out of a country*

*  joke of a country, yet legally still a country.

 

The last time I was trying to follow any time line, I shared my stories of Italy. Let me tell you what happened next.

I was hitching from Sanremo to Nice. An Algerian couple stopped, they didn’t really speak much English, yet they knew all the other languages: German, French, Italian, Spanish… uneducated me. They were going to Monaco. For a moment I hesitated, I didn’t want to go into the country, yet I decided to go with them and just play it by ear.

Unfortunately we ended up having communication issues and I ended up somewhere in Monte Carlo, just on some street.

I walked up a hill, had a coffee – the stuff was basically waiting for me to leave, they were very surprised when I tipped them; and it’s not like they’d done anything to deserve it, I just thought: fuck it, I’m in Monte Carlo, I need to tip – that’s one of those point you cannot miss on your trip to that place.

I left the restaurant and went walking towards the highway, following the signposts and cars which seemed like they really want to escape. No place to stop though, only pavement, roadway and the places which suck out all your money; stores which sell caviar worth 400 EURO per rather small portion; casinos; I continued walking.

I turned around the corner and there it was: a place with loads of space for me to stand and well, some space to stop the car for a minute. I stood all happy with my sign saying ‘NICE I’m nice to J’ that lovely old lady came by and wished me luck in both French and English, the sun was beating and I was feeling rather sick.

There is this reddish scar on my neck, this itchy, painful, suspicious pink thing of unknown origin. I covered it with a scarf, yet that made it only get worse from the heat. So I wait for the lift quite desperate, my water’s almost finished, and there he is, a cop of a motorbike arrives and says something in French, very angry.

‘I’m sorry, I don’t speak French’ I say – in French, ‘Do you speak English?’

‘We speak French here’ he answers – in English, ‘Autostop – no no no’ he adds shaking his head with disappointment and wavering his finger like if he wanted to have it stuck up his own ass.

‘Not true’ I answer, ‘I checked it and no, it is not illegal to autostop here’.

He starts yelling in French, getting red, says something about me not even speaking the proper language and he says ‘no autostop in Monaco. You need to leave the country, now.’ – in English, ‘I will go up the hill to the border and wait for you to leave’ he says in French, gets on his motorbike, says ‘move!’ and takes off. He also mentioned somewhere that the end was a km away;

It was at least a mile and a half.

So with a backpack on me and a guitar in my right hand, covering the pink thing on my neck with a scarf using my left hand, feeling very sick and angry, I walk up the mountain. There is no shade, it’s around 12:30 – the exact time of when I did not want to be on the road (I don’t know yet, how hot it will get). My bottle is almost empty, there is nowhere to refill it – around me only houses and expensive short-term rent apartments.

I begin to lose control, I’m barely  moving, my body is dehydrated, I am tired, my neck feels weird – when I turn my head left, the left side of my mouth starts to roll saliva like crazy. And it burned. It was so hot, my head was uncovered… My used the scarf covering my neck to cover both, my head and the pink scar.

Suddenly – there it is. A little booth with a Dunes, or however that joke of a country calls their border guards; and the mean cop.

I come up and ask the guard, in French, ‘Do you speak English?’

He barely looks at me, says ‘no’ and turns his face the other way.

‘Is it France or Monaco?’ I say in French pointing at a piece of land.

‘This is Monaco’ says the guard – in French – looking at the place where I’m standing, ‘and that is France’ he says pointing at two steps away, on left.

I’m furious. I take two steps into France, just so as to past him, turn around and look at them; my heart is beating, I am burning, my head is beating, the mind using its full power to control my reactions. I smile like a loon, rise my ‘NICE I’m nice too J’ sign up and stand there, in front of them, on the street.

They were angry, a little bit, and then I just went away, to sit down on a bus stop and get my shit together. I checked it, the bus would come in 15 minutes so if I didn’t get a ride sooner, I can just hop on ; And yeah, I didn’t get a ride…

The bus was 1,20 or 1,50. I should have just taken it in the first place!

I arrived to Nice, scored a pharmacy for something for the weird burn, a pub for a sandwich and went off to my next CS host, one of the most important ones (even though the last time we saw each other we were rather hostile); that’s a new story though and I’ll save it for the next time.

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How I got kicked out of a country*