9 Apr 2012
I knew I’ll have to do it sooner or later – and frankly, I was looking forward to the opportunity. Or shall I say, the need. I had the feeling it would happen this day. Well, obviously.. What can I expect while hitchhiking for more than 500km in the very north of Norway at the middle of February? Therefore, I was looking around me all day, glancing at the houses, trying to imagine who’ll open the door if I’ll happen to knock on it. I was standing at the same spot for more than an hour now, there were only a few cars passing by, and around me there were a few houses and a little local shop across the small road. When it got dark and the wind and snow were blowing, I knew that the time has arrived.
I walked, naturally, towards the nearest house, and with no hesitation, I knocked. Even though the car was parking outside and there was a light in some of the windows, there was no answer. I didn’t walked away, and I knocked harder this time. I knew someone was inside, and I was eager to see this door open. After a few more knocks the door opened, and an old lady was standing in front of me. “Hello! Do you speak English?” I asked with a smile. She looked puzzled at the unusual guest standing outside with his backpack, and she called someone inside to help her understand. An adult man came, supposably her son, and I introduced myself and said in the nicest way I could “I don’t do this too often, but I’m stuck here and I need a place to stay for the stormy night, do you think you can help me?” He looked at me, thinking, and then, without saying too much, he simply pointed the shop across the street with his finger and said “The man in the shop could help you.” So I thanked him and went to the store, to find the man. After explaining the situation, he called a cheerful old man, gave him a key and instructed him what to do. I followed the old man to another house, he opened it with the key, and showed me around. “This is our community center. There’s radiators, kitchen and toilet. Feel free to use them, and leave the key in the hole when you leave in the morning.” He smiled and told me good night.
I believe You’d do just the same if you’ll ever find yourself in the same situation – his, or mine. And why not?
After a warm and simple dinner I cooked for myself, I watched a movie on my little netbook and went to sleep, tired and happy of being back on the road. In the morning, when I woke up, I ate, wrote a thank you note, and stepped outside to the same spot. This time, I was enjoying the bright day, by listening to music and looking at the beautiful views of the fjord and the sun coming up behind the mountains. After two hours I had enough and I started to walk along the road to kill the time more efficiently. I walked up the hill until the next village, and the first car stopped. An old Spanish guy, with interesting stories, and his woman-friend. They took me for about 80km, and dropped me in a nameless town. The E-6 passed through it, and I stood there with my “Tromsø” sign, smiling to drivers and locals. Every now and then I walked a few hundred meters forward towards the end of town, to get more cars that are going through, and less local cars. After 4 hours (!!) I thought I’ll have to knock on another door tonight, but then, my guardian angel kicked in.
A bus with a sign saying Tromsø stopped next to me and opened the door. “No, sorry, it’s okay, I’m hitchhiking” I said to the driver. But he didn’t move and didn’t closed the door. He pointed at the girl sitting behind him and said “She wants to pay for you, come up” I looked at the very pretty young girl – an angel indeed. “Wow, thank you, that’s extremely generous, but It’s okay, I’m hitchhiking, it takes sometime, but it’s not a problem, I’m used to it” I smiled to her. But the girl insisted “Please, I saw you from the other station, and I want to help, it will be my random act of kindness!” She smiled her beautiful smile, and I couldn’t resist. I’m a ´yes man´after all, and this time I have a destination and a flight to catch. “Only if you’ll be willing to talk to me” I said. She smiled once again, and I went on the bus. Of course I thanked her a thousand times, and she simply said “I have more money than I need anyway, why not sharing it with others?” So much wisdom in such a young mind. 16 years old, this young
girl angel was..
Unfortunately, a few stops later, she had to leave and our conversation got cut in the middle. I’ve put my earphones, and to the sound of Neil Young’s voice, I sank into the chair, relaxed, and enjoyed the familiar views from last summer, only this time with the new winter costume. ‘I’m really going to Svalbard’ I thought to myself.
When I got to Geir, (the driver that gave me a lift to Tromso last summer, together with his cousin Steffen – I ended up staying a few nights in their place) I was hungry(!!) and tired, and Hawre, his lovely girl, supplied me with a delicious meal, while Geir was in charged of the dessert – cotton candy! – I think I can call it a good day after all…