Driving a truck for 47 years

The truck driver who gave me a ride home from Gävle yesterday had been working as a driver for 47 years.

As I stood by the road, the temperature was close to 13 degrees. I was cold, had no gloves and even though the wind wasn’t strong, standing there for fourty minutes with the thumb in the air, the other bare hand holding the sign, my fingers were getting very cold. I was tired and did my best not to yawn when there were cars passing. But the traffic was very light, not at all like it usually is on the highway going north. I guess the holidays are over and people stay at home as fall approaches.

As I saw the truck coming I wished I stood on a better spot. The road was too narrow for him to stop, so I didn’t even bother looking behind me to see if he slowed down. A minute later, I looked behind me to see if a car that passed had stopped, it looked as if it slowed down. Behind me was no car, but the big truck. Half the truck on the highway, and half on the side of the road. My word… did he stop for Me? I thought for myself, and started walking towards it. As he stood still I ran up to him and opened the passenger door.

I told the driver I didn’t think he would be able to stop here. “Oh we can do a lot you know, we live on these roads.” He told me. “I always stop for people by the road, it’s a good company. Otherwise I listen to the radio, talk to people on the phone. It’s not the same thing having someone to talk to.”
Inbetween us sat his dog, a little västgötaspets. She looked at me with her big eyes and I scratched her behind her ears. The driver told me that there aren’t many people hitch-hiking these days. “Twenty, thirty years ago there were hitch-hikers everywhere. But the last twenty or ten years there’s hardly been anyone out by the roads. I guess people are scared, both to hitch-hike and to pick up hitch-hikers.”

I guess so. I wish for a revolution. Not a hairpsray revolution, but a hitch-hike revolution.

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