Friday, November 20, 2015

Aix les Bain - France

hitching in Italy
me hitching

Hitchhiking offers the most freedom for travel. Besides meeting hundreds of people that I wouldn't normally have met, I got taken to all kinds of places I never would have gone. People love to take you home to meet their families and friends. No crowded buses, no schedules, no hotel rooms to book; everything happens the day that you stick your thumb out and you never know what's going to happen.

Was I afraid of weirdos, serial killers, perverts? The idea was there and I met up with some creeps, but who you hitchhike with can also have a bearing on survival. I wasn't as willing to get into some cars but then I didn't want to argue or separate with Mary Lynne.

Did we choose where to go? We started with a destination, but it all depended on when we got a ride, where they let us off and what time. Next stop: Aix les Bains.

Claude in front of Mary Lynne
Francois, a trucker who picked us up outside Chalon, stopped at a bar on Lac du Bourget and it wasn't too long before we met a team of young soccer players, one of whom offered to put us up at his apartment around the block. Bingo, he was an innocuous sort for sure. As I was talking with him and some others Mary Lynne came up to me and said she was going to go up into the mountains and camp with some guys. 'We're going to drink some wine and play music.' It was dark and when I looked over at the guys I couldn't see them. 'I'm not going, it's too late and why do you have to go to the mountains anyway? I don't think it's a good idea.' Mary Lynne turned to her new friends and in French said I was boring and never wanted to do anything. Does she think I don't understand what she's saying? I was pissed and told her to do what she wanted, but I was going back to the apartment with Claude.

I slept on top of the bed covers, Claude was under them with the light from the living room illuminating the room. I found it hard to sleep with his teeth grinding and when I rose to look at him, blood was dribbling down his cheek. Oh God. Dracula. But both of us were snoring when the light snapped on three hours later and Mary Lynne, panting and hysterical, burst into the room followed by a hippy looking sort. 'Oh my God, you wouldn't believe what happened. This guy here just saved my life. He helped me escape.' She lit a cigarette and collapsed on to the floor. 'I had to run to get away from those guys. They just wanted to get me drunk and have sex. It's a good thing you didn't come.'

Beware what kind of creature you share the night with.