Hitchhiking

The Tour de Mont Blanc took a big toll on us and afterward we dreamed of nursing our aches and pains along the Mediterranean. The only thing standing in our way was getting back over Mont Blanc. Poor planning, eh? Mont Blanc has a huge tunnel through it – a tunnel that costs motorists $50 per trip to drive through. Ay, caramba! You can only imagine the cost of the bus we would have to take. So instead of paying the exorbitant price to go a few miles through the tunnel, Matt suggested we hitchhike through. To be frank, I wasn’t overly excited about this option. But alas, I reminded myself that these adventures are necessary when traveling on a tighter budget.

I have only hitchhiked once in my life and I felt fairly safe doing it. Granted, I was with Matt, in Banff, a Canadian National Park. We were picked up fairly quickly by a couple from Florida; the gentleman had a drawl like Bill Clinton.

Fairly confident we would have no troubles getting picked up (Chamonix, after all, had been swarming with kindhearted adventure seeking souls… who apparently don’t drive cars), I was dejected when after 45 minutes we were still standing on the side of the road. Oh the pain of rejection!

We were getting desperate. Was my smile not big enough? Matt started waving a small bill out in front of him. Who pays for hitchhiking? He contemplated hiding in the bushes; maybe drivers would be more likely to pick up a girl then a couple. It’s not like I could blame people though. I mean really, who wants to pick up two strangers – probably somewhat stinky – with huge backpacks?

The countdown was on. Four more minutes and we would have to leave our roadside post to catch the bus. Perhaps I was a little bit secretly relieved? But wait a second! Is that sleek black car slowing down?! Aha!

And that is how we came to be in the back seat car of two very professional looking Italian businessman. Who knew business men were so thoughtful? Throughout our short drive through the incredibly long tunnel, a few Italian stereotypes were fulfilled. One man explained how, like many Italians, he had lived at home until he was 27. (Many Europeans we’ve encountered usually live at home while in college – mainly to save money on rent.) Why so long? His momma’s great cooking, of course! Not to mention, why should a young man have to live on his own and wash his dirty socks when his family’s maid could do it for him? I kid you not. He laughingly admitted to this, explaining that this is just the way Italian men are. I can’t wait to meet some Italian women and hear their side of the story.

2 Comments

Katrina

September 15th, 2011

The adventures you guys have! And I have to say I agree with you Kate, what’s the Italian women’s take on this? 🙂

recklesswonder

November 13th, 2011

Unfortunately, we never got to know any Italian women…

Leave a Reply