Hitchhiking out of Munich took quite some time. I stood for about four hours, all the while being attacked by ferocious ants, which I’m sure made me look crazy. I paced up an down a road that headed towards the highway, and when I put my stuff down, I realized that within seconds, it would be covered in ants, for whatever reason.
I soon had ants climbing up and down my pants legs, my arms, my pack, and frustration ensued! I learned quickly that the only way to keep so many ants off of me, I would have to walk and kind of do a “dance,” which I’m sure kept me from getting a sooner ride.
The sun is setting, and I’m thinking I should just go back to the house that I had been staying at, and try in the morning. (Notice a pattern here?) Instead, I decide to stick it out, and finally, a woman pulled over and offered me an hour ride towards Salzburg, Austria. As she dropped me at the gas station along the highway, she handed me peanuts, and let me know I would have no problem getting picked up here, as it seemed to have hitchers quite often.
I began putting my things from her car onto the ground, when a car was already pulling over for me. I get in and learn that these are two Iraqi guys, heading to Croatia. They learn that I am American, but I also throw in a few Arabic words in there, to let them know what kind of American I am. They were extremely happy, and decided to pull over at the next gas station for whatever reason. When the driver got back in the car, he threw a handful of chocolate bars and an ice cream at me, they were happy to find an open minded American.
Soon, they began asking me if I would go to Croatia with them, but as I had already been there, I declined. They were such hilarious characters, as I have noticed most Iraqis to be, cracking jokes, always laughing, high spirited people, which is what drew me to them back when I was 19. (That’s another story.)
They dropped me in a small place outside of Salzburg called Hallein, which to me, would soon be dubbed “Hitchhiker’s Purgatory.” I would be stuck in this area for the next 24 hours!