I wake up that day feeling really bad. I go down to the kitchen of the hostel to have a tea. I’m looking things up on my computer, I have to take a decision: where will I go next? I can’t decide between going down to Bulgaria to see my friend or work in a farm in Hungary. And I’m still feeling bad, so without really realizing, I am sighing a lot. That’s when Ricardo, a Brazilian guy staying here too, notices me. He asks me what’s going on, I tell him I’m feeling a bit low. Next thing I know, I decide to go to Prague with him! He’s going there with his car and in an attempt to cheer me up, he offers me to join. After first declining, I think to myself: “Why not?!” and here I am, an hour later, about to embark on a journey with my new friend. I love these moments of total improvisation! They’re so exciting!
That’s how, after a longer trip than expected (we got stuck in traffic jams in Slovakia), that involved lots of laughing, eating and even a bit of Slovak police bribing (“Give me present!”), Ricardo drops me off at a hostel in the center, and goes to his own that’s a bit outside of the city but closer to where one of his friends lives.
I meet that same friend that evening, and we all explore the city together for that night and the next two days. Here are a few pictures:
That’s not all, I want to go and see my friend Matei (the one I met in Lithuania) before he starts university again, the week after. He lives in Košice, Slovakia, and taking a train there from Prague would be easy and cheap. But easy means boring, doesn’t it? I thus decide to hitchhike there… The next part is going to be about me taking stupid risks so if it freaks you out to imagine me in dangerous situations, or you think you’ll feel an uncontrollable need to lecture me about it, I am going to ask you to stop here.
My new friends therefore drive me to a gas station a bit outside of the center of Prague, on the highway, in the end of the afternoon. I wanted to get there a bit earlier but it took us a long time to drive there. My plan was to hitchhike to Bratislava, spend a night there, and continue the next day. But you know what they say, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” (actually, John Lennon said it)! Soooo, after hitchhiking two hours without having anybody pick me up, I’m starting to think I should maybe give up. That’s of course when a guy finally stops for me, and I’m so so happy that I don’t really pay attention when he tells me he’s only going 30-40 km further; I just want to leave this place. I’m a bit less happy when, 20 minutes and a coffee later, he leaves me in an other gas station where it seems that only trucks stop, and here I am again, in the middle of nowhere… I directly start asking all the truck drivers there if they’re going to Bratislava, without success. I even talk to a French driver who’s very nice, and is actually going there, but can’t leave before 4 am. He offers me to drive me there if I’m still stuck in this place by that time. I politely decline: of course I won’t be there at that time.
Time is passing by, and the only guy I found who is going to Bratislava just looks too creepy and I don’t feel it, so I listen to myself. But the sun is going down, and I don’t want to hitchhike in the dark, plus I fear that a truck driver would just leave me somewhere on the highway near the capital and I have no idea how I would get to the center in the middle of the night. This is when you start thinking things like: “What the hell am I doing here?”, “My mum would kill me if she knew”, or even “I hope I will still be alive in the morning” (you can imagine this one accompanied by a mental cynical laugh).
At least there is a nice sunset.
But freaking out wouldn’t help me at all, so instead I just stay calm and try to think of my best option: maybe I should just sleep in the small shop there, at least I would be inside and safe, and I could leave again in the morning. Yeah, that’s better than nothing, I decide to do that. But you remember, life and plans and stuff. Of course, after eating a bite and falling asleep with my head against the table, an employee wakes me up to throw me out. The shop is closing between midnight and 4 am. And now it’s starting to rain. Yay!
That’s how I end up knocking on that french guy’s window. “Excuse-me, may I sleep in your truck?” And spending the night on the front seat of that guy’s truck, while he was sleeping in the back. We leave the next day at 4.
At least I’m, alive, right? 😉
I still have a long hitch-hiking journey from there, I’ll tell you all about it soon!