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Netherlands, Rotterdam
piątek, 31 lipca 2009 12:37
Mary Lasprilla   

rotterdam4Hitchhiking, summer 09 (part 2)

Now, time to go on with the trip. On the 18th we headed off to Rotterdam. We took a tram what left us close to the highway entrance. It was really hard to get a ride there because there were no proper places for pedestrians to stand, so we were on the scrub next to the ramp jumping, waving, making funny faces to try to make car stops even at their high speed…

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A couple of guys, after some 20 minutes, stopped, let us in, and then sent us out of the car (in a nice way) because they were going somewhere else. Back to the sun, the scrub, the jumping and the faces . At that point I was thinking it would have been useful to have a “signs dictionary for hitchhikers”, because it turned out that the thumb up and out was not the only one coming up while hitchhiking. We also got a lot of signs as a response from the drivers not stopping. The signs were, most commonly:

  • hands raised to the height of the face with a eyes like wondering “what can I do? I'm sorry, I cannot give you a ride”
  • right hand up closed in a fist with index finger extended, and turning from outside to inside making a circle like saying “we are just turning around”(!!)
  • thumbs up (WTF?!!!) we are the ones who are supposed to do that!
  • Hands waving “bye”
  • and the one we hated the most: stiff neck, look forward and thought 'I do not see them, I do not see them, ignored them, ignore them, ignore them". Of course! This happened after looking at us out of their eye's corner.

rotterdam1Back to the point, one person finally stopped, that was Patricia Zebeda, a nice woman and director or filenetwerken.nl.

Patricia left us at the airport, which ended up being a bad idea, or maybe it was just a bad day. At the airport nobody would stop to give you a ride. If you try it, like us, you'll see: the same taxi drivers going and coming back, cars packed with family who probably came to pick up a relative that hadn't seen in a long time, business people who came back from a conference or a meeting somewhere in the world, that were just to tired to stop for anybody and who were probably thinking “Finally back to go home to have some rest”. You'll see everybody but nobody who would give you a ride. In the end, as you can imagine, we gave up. It was easy to do it because the only thing we had to do was to cross the street and get to the train station, right in front of the airport, buy a ticket and go to Rotterdam. So we did. The train was a nice option, because we were tired of the sun, talking (as a hitchhiker you have to talk...is a must), and specially, from the bags on our backs (at this point we had also realized we are not the right people to go backpacking around the world for a year, not even half of it!).


When we got to the city, we were welcomed by tall and modern buildings for which we were happy. The beautiful, old, classic, whatever architecture of the other couple of cities was nice, but we were just bored of it already, and needed a doses of modernism to refresh our sight. Though it was another port city like the previous two, the feeling was different. It was full of Suriname restaurants and people, which made us wonder how come we know nothing about a country that we lived almost next to for more than twenty years!

Though Rotterdam does not resemble any of our current or former hometowns, we spent the two days there feeling it like that: we went clothes and food shopping, we walked around the neighborhood, we had a beer at a small bar a block from the apartment, we watch TV and relaxed. Probably it had to do with the fact that we were staying at Victor's place, a dutch friend from Tallinn who works with Luis. It was kind of strange to stay at somebody's place without the person being there. It's something we hadn't done before. Though weird, it was good. Two days of hitchhiking backpacking had been enough :-) (but it went on!).

rotterdam5Though is kind of embarrassing to say it, in this city our consumer self awake. It might have had to do with all the shops we had a couple of streets from where we were staying. Whatever it was it happened: I went crazy in H&M (my gosh! Is so hard to accept I can be like a...regular woman!) and I also went crazy eating Haagen Dazs whenever I could. Together Luis and I enjoyed the pleasure of eating junk food without having to eat meat at “The King of Falafel” :-D and finally, we broke the law (without being stopped) by walking around the city drinking beer (uuuh! What a pair, hehehe).

Another nice thing while walking around in the city were the signs :-) Though we made only the pic of a couple of them, it was common to see funny messages around in billboards and stuff, like this one:

What was not so nice was when, while walking down Witte de Wit, a popular party street, during our last evening in the city, we had three women walking a bit ahead of us, drunk and laughing like fools. They were all dressed up, high heels, perfume and make up, when the one in the middle stops, FARTS!!! and starts laughing louder!! Hahaha! We were both shocked and amused! Specially the last one when the three women noticed they had us behind them! Hahaha!

Next post: going to Belgium!

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