t ial rhaegar 7473 vor 7 Jahre* (ti) 1. 2:
4. Just about every time I see someone I stop. I kind of got out of the habit in the last couple of years, moved to a big
city and all that, my girlfriend wasn' t too stoked on the practice. Then some shit happened to me that changed me
and I am back to offering rides habitually. If you would indulge me, it is long story and has almost nothing to do with
hitch hiking other than happening on a road.
This past year I have had 3 instances of car trouble. A blow out on a freeway, a bunch of blown fuses and an out of
gas situation. All of them were while driving other people' s cars which, for some reason, makes it worse on an
emotional level. It makes it worse on a practical level as well, what with the fact that I carry things like a jack and
extra fuses in my car, and know enough not to park, facing downhill, on a steep incline with less than a gallon of fuel.
Anyway, each of these times this shit happened I was DISGUSTED with how people would not bother to help me. I
spent hours on the side of the freeway waiting, watching roadside assistance vehicles blow past me, for AAA to show.
The 4 gas stations I asked far a gas can at told me that they couldn' t loan them out "for my safety" but I could buy a
really shitty one with no cap for . It was enough, each time, to make you say shit like "this country is
going to hell in a handbasket."
But you know who came to my rescue all three times? Immigrants. Mexican immigrants. None of them spoke a lick of
the language. But one of those dudes had a profound affect on me.
He was the guy that stopped to help me with a blow out with his whole family of s in tow. I was on the side of the
road far close to 4 hours. Big jeep, blown rear tire, had a spare but no jack. I had signs in the windows of the car, big
signs that said NEED A JACK and offered money. No dice. Right as I am about to give up and just hitch out there a
van pulls over and dude bounds out. He sizes the situation up and calls for his youngest daughter who speaks english.
He conveys through her that he has a jack but it is too small for the Jeep so we will need to brace it. He produces a
saw from the van and cuts a log out of a downed tree on the side of the road. we rolled it over; put his jack on top,
and bam, in business. I start taking the wheel off and, if you can believe it, I broke his tire iron. It was one of those
collapsible ones and I wasn' t careful and I snapped the head I needed clean off. Fuck.
No worries, he runs to the van, gives it to his wife and she is gone in a flash, down the road to buy a tire iron. She is
back in 15 minutes, we finish the job with a little sweat and cussing (stupid log was starting to give), and I am a very
happy man. We are both filthy and sweaty. The wife produces a large water jug for us to wash our hands in. I tried to
put a 20 in the man' s hand but he wouldn' t take it so I instead gave it to his wife as quietly as I could, I thanked them
up one side and down the other. I asked the little girl where they lived, thinking maybe I could send them a gift for
being so awesome. She says they live in Mexico. They are here so mommy and daddy can pick peaches for the next
few weeks. After that they are going to pick cherries then go back home. She asks if I have had lunch and when I told
her no she gave me a tamale from their cooler, the best fucking tamale I have ever had.So, to clarify, a family that is undoubtedly poorer than you, me, and Just about everyone else on that stretch of road,
working on a seasonal basis where time is money, took an hour or two out of their day to help some strange dude on
the side of the road when people in tow trucks were just passing me by. wow...
But we aren' t done yet. I thank them again and walk back to my car and open the foil on the tamale cause I am
starving at this point and what do I find inside? My fucking bill'. I whirl around and run up to the van and the guy
rolls his window down. He sees the in my hand and just shaking his head no like he won' t take it. All I can think
to say is "Par Favor, For Favor, Par Favor" with my hands out. Dude just smiles, shakes his head and, with what looked
like great concentration, tried his hardest to speak to me in English:
Today you.... tomorrow me."
Rolled up his window, drove away, his daughter waving to me in the rear view. I sat in my car eating the best fucking
tamale of all time and I just cried. Like a little girl. It has been a rough year and nothing has broke my way. This was
so out of left field [just couldn' t deal.
m the 5 months since I have changed a couple of tires, given a few rides to gas stations and, once, went 50 miles out
of my way to get a girl to an airport. I won' t accept money. Every time I tell them the same thing when we are
Today you... tomorrow me."
uir: long rambling story about how the kindness of strangers, particularly folks from south of the border, forced me
to be more helpful on the road and in life in general. I am sure it won' t be as meaningful to anyone else but it was
seriously the highlight of my 2010.