The surprising joy of hitchhiking

This week in Sunday Life I hitchhike

Picture 152 The surprising joy of hitchhiking
photo via

My life is often overlaid with a certain degree of mistimed chaos. Which means, from time to time, I’m forced to hitchhike.

Take Thursday. I was due at a meeting at 7.30am, but in timing my morning I failed to factor in that I’d sold my car the day before. Readers of this column might recall I often run as a form of transport. So off I set in my sneakers. However, halfway into town, I realized there was not a chance in a blue fit of making my meeting in time.

So I hitched. Some lovely old blokes – on their way in to town for a swim – stopped. They cracked retiree-like jokes about my being the best thing they’d picked up all morning, and I laughed. Because it was fun. And so I hitched home again.

The last time I hitchhiked I was running (literally, again) late for a ferry in Cronulla. Two pimply teens in a circa-1990 Holden Commodore picked me up. Much to my delight, the back seat was upholstered in the Union Jack and the entire cabin interior had been lined in the Southern Cross motif. The boys, apprentice boilermakers, had handstitched the vinyl stars on themselves. And they stopped to buy me an icecream because they thought I might be hungry.

Ensconced on my Australiana throne I was treated to the most enlightening insight into the Aussie male predicament. They were so likeable and open, I wanted to take them home with me, which, admittedly, is a little Ivan Milat-creepy.

You just don’t see so many hitchhikers these days. Which is something a few commentators have been lamenting of late. The nerdy commentators behind the  blog phenomenon Freakonomics outlined reasons for the decline earlier this month.

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