Friendhopping – Part III: The Road to Vienna

The holidays are nearing and it seems that there is some hitchhiking in store for me. In memory of past trips, I decided to work through my old travellers’ blogs, take the mistakes out, abbreviate the names where necessary and post them here piece by piece: on Wednesdays. I’m starting with the final trip I took so far, written just after I finished my studies. The series contains a storyline about love and friendship. It has six parts. This is part three. What I like about this one is that I remember being super fascinated about this girl with Google maps on his mobile. Just three years ago…

August 2nd 2011
Hitchhikers’ law # 1 is : Nothing is for certain
Law # 2: The more people pass by, the less pick you up
Law # 3: The smaller the car, the more space for hitchhiker
Law # 4: The nicer the spot, the sooner you’ll be picked up
Law # 5: The better the weather, the sooner you’re gone
Law # 6: Doing yoga and singing increase your chance to be picked up, even if you don’t know yoga and don’t know how to sing
Law # 7: When you’ve lost all hope, that’s when salvation comes

Vienna is a beautiful city. High buildings, big buildings, but beautiful buildings. Trees. Big parks. The feeling of space.
After crossing the park in front of the main train station in the east of Vienna, I ask a random cool looking guy on the street if he knows a good place to go.
“I don’t know, I have only worked here for four days”.
Ok then. I walk. Straight. Left. Right again. Catholic church with golden roof. Time for an internet café. T. might have replied.
“Weis ich nicht, aber es gibt doch Google, oder?”
Short red hair, open blue eyes and a black suit. The man takes his phone out of his pocket and materializes a miniature map on the tiny screen. No internet cafes around. The centre will be a half an hour walk.

It doesn’t take long before I conclude that Vienna is cool. But as it turns out I’m not in a city mood, I forget shimmering hostal ideas and leave westwards with metro and tram. I hitchhike further. First car picks me up. Vienna broke hitchhiking law # 2. And I didn’t even do yoga. Not that I can… I sleep just outside the city but in high grass on the edge of a forest. Thunder and rain come comfort me.

The road to Linz is rainy and slow. No broken rules this time. It’s my own fault. I chose to stand in front of the roundabout instead of sitting under a roof in front of the restaurant to ask people to take me along. Like Tomas did. Tomas is bold, except for a little round tail on the back of his head. Orange brown white clothes. A good combination. Clear blue eyes, round nose. He is tall. Hitchhiking as well, headed home. He’s German, so he does the talking and I do the drumming. I earn my first euro with music, and we’re picked up within five minutes. Tomas converses with the driver. They discuss spiritual topics in all directions the mind can wander off to. Meditation of course. 2012. Did you know that radioactivity is a strong fire power? The fire gods can diminish it if you do a ritual for them. Solar radiation destroys electromagnetic devices. One should like what one’s doing, without getting stuck to it. Singing frees the soul. He has friends in Vienna. I could stay at their place whenever I want. Chill, since I decided I’ll live there. Our roads part with a sunny shine upon a good hug. To the west, to Zürich. Austrian and Spanish drivers. Oh… R. is in Brig instead. Change of direction. Southwards it is.

Stergliz is a pittoresque Tirol-Italian village higher up in the mountains. No hostels. A restaurant reminds me of old times. We often used to go to a white Italian place close to where my dad lived in Luxembourg town. Rather boring atmosphere, but it was cheap and the food was good. The owner filled the place with his presence, but I didn’t understand him at the time. I used to fall asleep on my moms lap and would be carried to the car. Sometimes I just pretended so that I didn’t have to walk. I think she knew. It’s the smell of this place that puts me back in those times. I order a wine and a Quattro Fromaggi, asking the beautiful waitress if she knows a garden where I can put up my tent.

She answers nervous mystery.
I finish my delicious pizza, order another wine and write a little. She finishes her duty and asks me to follow her into a dark alley, where we take a car to her house.
“You have to promise me that you will be gone at 7 am”
She puzzles me. On the one side I feel a deep basic trust. But she seems agitated by my presence. I resist asking.
We arrive. She explains that my behaviour is frowned upon here. Not by her. People aren’t used to it. But I am pretty sure her parents and her grandma and her neighbours hear her speak out loud to me. The automatic light switches on and off again. She travelled through Australia, and will move to Vienna in October. Facebook exchange and she’s gone. Back to the centre to meet a friend. Tomorrows trip through mountain passes will be amazing, but I won’t reach Brig on time.

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Playing mind games with Soul