Hitch-hiking Zimbabwe

The sun became stronger and the heat more and more unbearable as we sat in the back of the buckie, with the roof surrounding us. Alex opened the back door and some fresh air hit us in the face. “I realize it’s a bit dangerous, but we need air.” he said as he held the door open. The buckie rushed along the bumpy road and we passed a series of trucks, cars and other buckies on our way to Bulawayo. The second largest city ion Zimbabwe.

We started the hitch-hike in the town Victoria Falls, and got a ride to the professional hitch-hiking spot by the turnoff to the hospital. There were tons of people there, we looked at each other and said “man, we are never getting a ride out of here!” So we started walking. At least five different people asked where we going, “Bulawayo” we said. They pointed to the bus behind us and shouted “that’s the one, you must get on that one!” “No, we’re hitch-hiking, thank you!” we shouted back. Five minutes later we were on the buckie to Bulawayo.

The car made lots of stops along the way, and we all got food and drinks from the small shop. Though I had to do with some bread and the dried fruit I had got in Victoria Falls because there was not really any vegetarian options. And I am so sick of chips. On our last stop before the city the driver came to the back of the car and said “ok guys the next stop is Bulawayo so you must pay now.” I stared at the man, was he serious? “But we’re hitch-hiking, why must we pay?” I asked. “Come on, just give as much as you want to.” the man said. The guy next to me got on after us, he paid ten dollars. So did we. It’s still almost half the price of the bus, but still. Hitch-hiking is supposed to be free now when the economy is ok, but that’s just my opinion.

Bulawayo is the complete opposite of what I thought it would be. It’s not dirty and sure it’s old, but it’s beautifully old. Colonial buildings undesstroyed and both paved roads and street signs. I could stay here forever.

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2 thoughts on “Hitch-hiking Zimbabwe

  1. Hitchhiking is changing… it’s fine if you want to offer something towards fuel, right? – but when it’s a straight out ask then the whole game is changing.New rules I guess. (Actually talking about ettiquette and rules, I got told off for hitching with my thumb in Australia, apparently ‘illegal’. Really? How is a finger out any different to a thumb?)

    • We were told it started when the economy was crashing and there wasn’t a lot of fuel in the country, and now when things are looking good again people simply realized they can make a profit from picking up people along the road.
      Hitching with your thumb is no good idea here either, and especially not in muslim countries. It means something like “up your ass”, as it’s pretty inappropriate to hitch with your long finger in Europe 😉 one of these amazing culture-clashes, but I don’t see why Australia is picky about it.
      Hitching here is made by pointing to the road with your whole hand or the index-finger.
      Cheers!

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