Thumbs Up: Part I

2013 began well, almost too well, and with the New Year came new adventure. Doug and I didn’t know where we wanted to go, but we figured going south would be a fine idea… we really have no plans. We had been spit-balling the best way to travel through the homeland with our Kiwi brethren, and the overwhelming majority told us hitchhiking was the obvious choice.

“Ye, just put your thumb up and you’ll be sweet as,” sounded like the beginning quote to the horror movie, Rob and Doug Get Brutally Murdered During a Hitch Hike Gone Wrong, but we decided to trust the Kiwi people. At the end of the day, we’re two able-bodied dudes (ex-Division I or is it III? Lax player, and an ex-D-III club hockey player), but more importantly, you don’t get many opportunities to hitchhike in your life.

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Would you pick up these two svelte brahs?

Saying goodbye to our phenomenal hosts and the glorious views was tough, but they dropped us off on a main road and wished us luck. We put our backpack down, held up a sign that simply read, “SOUTH” and threw our thumbs in the air (it felt very cool!). Not one minute had passed before a lady pulled over in her ol’ hoopty and hollered, “I’m going to Wairoa, hop in! Oh, and can one of you drive? I don’t have a license.” Ok!

Though the red flags were certainly there, so was the adrenaline of our first hitch, so we hopped in. I felt confident I could stay on the left side of the road and hoped our pick-up hadn’t lost her liscense because she murdered a hitchhiker… fingers crossed! Our hostess was in her 20’s, had island skin and a bunch of questions. She did not stop talking the entire 2-hour drive; she was in fact a very nice lady, and kept referring to herself as a free spirit. “I have 50 missed calls. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I’m a free spirit!” Ok!

She proceeded to talk to us about an abusive ex-boyfriend, the fact she is a professional rapper, and how she had snacked on three E-pills the night/morning before. It was now obvious she was still enjoying the effects of the drug and I was glad I was the one driving.

“I’m not afraid of death. I wouldn’t care if one of you guys killed me right now…”

WOAH WOAH WOAH! How did THAT come up in conversation? And she said it with a smile. I kept driving, trying to ignore the statement; we began to realize her definition of ‘free spirit’ is identical to our definition of ‘crazy lady.’

Though driving on the left side of the road while listening to some radical banter served as challenges, I was doing a solid job behind the wheel, and the views were beautiful. I had my right arm out the window and it was getting COOKED by the sun (the NZ o-zone layer is thin, deli-cut ham, thin).

I looked down to see if I could move it into some shade when I heard our lady friend, Kyrsa, yell real loud… I looked up to see us headed straight off a cliff turn… Oh nooooo! (are Rob and Doug’s ghosts writing this blog?!?!?!?!)

Suspense….

More suspense…

I yanked the wheel right, as Doug and Kyrsa screamed, managing to avoid a quick end to 2013. After a deep breath, I asked Kyrsa, “Why did you scream? I thought you weren’t afraid of death…. Ha!” we had a laugh and continued on.

She dumped us off at a gas station on a main road, we thanked her profusely, and the thumbs were back up (we would later find out the town she dropped us in, is known for it’s gangs… thanks again Kyrsa!).

Dude-that-lady-was-out-of-her-damn-mind’s were exchanged while we waited, and after thirty minutes, a kid picked us up, “I’ll bring you to Napier,” ok!

This time around, we landed on a stable human. Sandy, a curly headed 18-year old dude, was a spirited fellow who had also enjoyed the glory of R&V. The conversation had less to do about murder and more to do with music and babes (my favvvvvvv!).

Sandy, that fahckin legend, managed to hook up with three different girls, all three nights! We asked him the obvious question, “What do girls smell like?” and then a less obvious question, “How’d you do it?”

“Ah, the Kiwi girls love a bit of charm, and you have to put in some work.” Dually noted!

The hours went by quick, and it was a shame we couldn’t spend more time with the kid, wise beyond his years, but the night was coming and we had made it half way down the coast.

We landed at a lovely hostel where we were greeted by an omen, the sign below.

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Though the day was strange, it was interesting, and we were excited to throw the thumbs up the next morning.

Moral of the Story: Hitchhiking is like life, which is like a box of chocolates, which are always mysterious!

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