Switzerland is the United Nations of hitchhiking. No two nationalities in a row pick me up, it feels. The drivers went from a Swiss to a American to a Lebanese guy who royally screwed me over by leaving me in a wretched spot outside of Bern, but I have to accept some responsibility for allowing it. My frustration mounted because of the 10-15 cars that did stop for me but weren’t going my way.
I decided to hitchhike the other direction just to get to a better place to turn around, but the driver decided instead to take me out of his way, in traffic, to the other side of Bern. I kept telling him he didn’t have to do that, but he kept saying, “Who cares in 20 years?”
The rides came quickly. A Peruvian woman and her very fetching daughter picked me up. The woman told me that they never took hitchhikers, and her daughter was against it. Instantly, any beauty I saw in her daughter had dissolved. Hey, that’s the cold, hard life of the road, baby! Then she got out of the car to sweetly say goodbye and I was molten butter again.
Then it was an Albanian who, like every single foreigner I know and meet in Switzerland, tells me of a kind of Swiss apartheid. Switzerland is 25% foreigners, but the two don’t mix much and the foreigners are constantly complaining about Swiss ways. I may or may not expand on this later depending on how much people donate. HA! Just kidding—or so you think!
Then the drama. It’s late in the day. I’m on the edge of Zurich, already running late, I had my huge GLATTFELDEN sign, but both literally and in the imaginations of locals, Glattfelden is the end of the known Swiss world right on the border with Germany. It might have taken some time to get there, but this Lotus pulled over, much to my disbelief:
He was driving only to the airport but, again, he went well out of his way to take me straight to my friends’ door. Incredible. He was very self-effacing. I was raving about how cool the car was, but he only allowed, “It’s an old model,” and “It drives.”