I met Jiaxin by a petrol station by Lundavägen in Malmö. She had her bag filled with food and I had bottles with water. We also had one toothbrush each and a a few SEK in case we would run out of water.
We stood by the highway, at a good stopping-place for the cars. Made a HH-song (“we are hitch-hiking, we are hitch-hiking, oh yes we are really hitch-hiking”) and ate tomatoes for dinner. Car after car passed by. We were determined to not stay there for longer than 45 minutes, so when half an hour had passed and no one showed any interest in picking us up, the heart was beating a little faster. Will we make it?
Just as about the time was closing up on us, a man stopped his silver car and waved for us to come. We screamed of joy, as always when someone stop, and ran up to him. He rolled down the window on the passenger seat and greeted us.
His name was Federigo and he was on his way to Linköping. He works with beauty – a well paying job. The car cost 1.2 million SEK (about 135 000 euro) and had more luxury than I could imagine. Until I felt it. Massage in the chairs, seats that adjust when the car is turning so you never move in the seat, it breaks itself and can sense the white lines on the road.
We passed the beautiful Vättern (the second largest lake in Sweden) with view over the island called Visingsö. Federigo pointed up the hill towards a house. He had been thinking about buying it, but then his wife said she didn’t want to move. The house was made by an architect, the huge windows in the living room letting one sit on a couch, sipping hot tea, watching the sunset over the lake, island and the two cities of Jönköping and Husqvarna. The view must be magnificent. The house was built right by the edge of the mountain. Federigo said that while standing in the living room watching down, you could see nothing but the air and the ground far far down. It was like floating. Floating in the sky.
As we closed up on Linköping the time was already late. It would be past ten pm before we arrived. Our hitch invited us to stay at his house over the night, and he would buy us dinner. It was an offer we could not turn down, standing by the road at night was not appealing at all. Who would pick us up in the darkness? Who would even see us? We did have a torch, but it was not worth it. Not this time.
The restaurant was about to close as we got there, but they cooked some food for us and packed it in bags for us to take home.
Almost everything in his house was danish design. From the lamp bulbs and couch to the table and chairs. There was a special made grill, built into the wall, from Canada. One put charcoals in the bottom and the chimney lead the smoke out of the house. It’s like a fireplace, but instead of a fireplace it’s a grill. Awesome.
While we ate we talked about everything from politics to beauty to food. And traveling. He had once hitch-hiked in Chile, something Jiaxin and I immediately decided to try in the future. But we won’t be satisfied with Chile, we’re gonna take on all of South America.
But first thing’s first.
He has a spa in the house, with a sauna, jacuzzi and a fridge with the most expensive champagne I have ever seen in real life.
The reason he picked us up was that he had just come home from a long trip and was tired. As he saw us by the road he thought some company would do great, so he wouldn’t fall asleep. Plus he said he usually pick up hitch-hikers. We have been talking so many times while standing beside the road, “what if someone with a really cool or really fancy car would pick us up?” And it happened.
But still, we have heard stories. He had two spare rooms with a single bed in each, so we could have our own rooms. We said “no thank you, we are so used to sleeping in the same room it wouldn’t feel good not to. We will share.” He asked if we were sure and we insisted. The beds were all Hästens, you know these amazing beds with white and blue squares all over. We put the mattress pad on the floor next to the bed where I slept, and Jiaxin slept on the bed. Each one of us had a chopstick beside our pillow, and we had a my Stanley knife within an arm length from both of us. It turned out to be unnecessary, but one can never be too safe. The guy had been talking a bit too much about sex and how no one is never faithful to their partners.
We had our own bathroom with two sinks and shower. From the window we could see into the neighbors’ kitchen.