There are two memories from the last trip that I keep returning to in my mind.
Hitch-hiking by the high-way in France
Number one is when Jiaxin tried to stand by the highway to hitch-hike, like we have done in Sweden, a few miles south of Bordeaux on our way to San Sebastian. Before we went on our trip, I asked some friends who has hitch-hiked in France where it’s good to stand. They all said “well, not the highway, the police will be there immediately and force you to go away and they might give you a fine.”
Jiaxin didn’t stand by the highway for more than five minutes before there was a police-car pulling over, with their lights blinking and all. As she walked back to where I was standing the police followed very slowly right behind her so she wouldn’t be able to walk back. The scene reminded me so much of a comedy where someone big is following right behind a small person, the small one not knowing they’re being followed and and the big one hiding as soon as the small one looked back. Though the police didn’t hide.
As she had a few meters back to where I was, the police drove around her and came up to me. They explained that here, yes, there, No. Here, yes, there NO. “Ok, I get it, thank you so much. Merci.” As Jiaxin stood beside me they drove away again.
I was almost robbed in Bordeaux
The second memory is the scene that occured almost imediately after we stepped out of the car as we arrived in Bordeaux, there were five guys walking towards us. They had seven dogs with them, crossings with german shepherds and something else. One of the guys came up really close to me and said something in french. I said “I don’t speak french.” and continued walking. He came closer and said, closely to my hear, “listen I speak english, if you don’t give me all your money my dog is gonna” he made a chewing sound “you.”
I felt a little uncomfortable, but continued walking and looked at him annoyed. Why would he want to take all my money? It’s the middle of a day and I’m a flipping hitch-hiker with only five euro left in my pocket. As we had passed them I asked Jiaxin if she’d heard what he’d said. She had not heard him. Lucky I guess, it was uncomfortable and I didn’t feel very safe in the city.