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This is a question Hitchhiking and fare dodging

Epic tales of the thumb, the open road and getting robbed by hairy-arsed truck drivers. Alternatively, travelling for free like a dreadful fare-jumping cheat. Confess.

Suggested by Social Hand Grenade

(, Thu 21 Aug 2014, 13:34)
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Cumquats guide to Hitchhiking
I've hitched in a lot of different countries in this world. When you hitch you have an awful lot of time standing on the sides of roads to contemplate the nature and psychology of it. I thought Id share my opinions, for what they're worth. It's a good and cheap way to see the world.
Generally, the more lonely the road, or hostile the environment, the more lifts you get. Many people are motivated by pity to pick you up. Busy on-ramps to motorways, they think "ah, somebody else will pick him up". Standing on an empty road in Norway with snow falling, or out on the nullabor in blazing 40 degree heat with a single car every 3 hours if you're lucky, you'd need a hard heart to drive past and leave me to die.
Country Guide: the Scandanavian countries are great, mostly for the reasons above. I had a few long rides in rural iceland where they didn't say a single word the whole trip, I said my destination and the rest was silence. They're a weird people. Ireland is very good , maybe the easiest country, as is France outside Paris. Australia, Canada and the States are decent. England is hard in the south and midlands, but good for rides in the north. Germany is hard, make sure you have a book to read, the selfish pricks. Spain is alright, but the former communist countries are hard to hitch in. Brazil is good, all other latin american countries apart from mexico are more difficult. In mexico, they often want you to pay. Didn't do much hitching in India, as the train and bus is dirt cheap, but I got a couple of rides. Southeast asia is difficult, though sometimes they pick you up for the novelty value. China it was illegal, and I sensed I wouldn't have much luck anyway.

The best advice to get rides is be a woman. If you can't manage that, then go for the clean cut backpacker look. people are interested if they think you're a foreign backpacker, but won't pick you up if they're the least bit afraid of you. you don't want to blend in with the locals when you're hitching. If a local is hitching it probably means he's a homeless vagrant. Embrace your inner gringo, even if means cracking out the pastel t-shirt and shorts.
An obvious piece of advice is you need a good line of sight up the road. There is a certain amount of time drivers need between seeing you, recognizing you as a hitcher, wrestling with guilt and inner demons, then deciding to pull over. You need to make sure they have time to go through each stage before they've passed you. More visual time = more time to feel guilty.
One thing I had a lot of success with, and I wish I'd thought of it in my earlier years of hitching, is carry an acoustic guitar in a case. This advice is gold, trust me. You get a lot more rides, even if like me you can only play the opening bars to Stairway to Heaven. By the time they find this out, you're already in their car. People like to pick you up if they think you're a musician, and it's the first question they ask.
Lastly, the majority of people who pick you up, apart from lorry drivers, are going to be bored middleaged men in shitty sedans. They've gone to the trouble of giving you a lift. You should at least show some conversational interest in their small pathetic lives. It's the decent thing to do.

TLDR: The germans are selfish cunts
(, Mon 25 Aug 2014, 3:55, 4 replies)
Some good advice there

I'm learning Icelandic myself and have been a number of times, although not outside Reykjavik. They certainly are an odd bunch. Great country however.
(, Mon 25 Aug 2014, 15:23, closed)
Go to Myvatn. Beautiful.

(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 0:41, closed)
If you've got a guitar you can fuck right off.

(, Mon 25 Aug 2014, 23:27, closed)
in these hipster times, I might downsize to a ukelele

(, Tue 26 Aug 2014, 0:49, closed)

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