Who Picks up Hitchhikers Anyway?

Rides

Apparently a diverse range of people. In my 24 country hitchhike, I was picked up by 227 different vehicles. All people I had never met before. Before I started, I wondered how many people that picked me up would speak English. For me, almost half; 111 out of 227 rides had at least one person in the vehicle who spoke a level of English that I could understand.

Below is a summary of who I have been driven by on my journey which started and finished in Norfolk, UK. I still refrain from using names on my website because it is rude to talk about people without their permission. The table shows my nickname for each person, where they drove me to, where they were from, the language they spoke that I best understood (if at all), and where appropriate, a little note.

Because I love spreadsheets, I made some hitchhiking statistics from my journey. Here is one statistic; of the 227 rides I got, 172 vehicles were all male, 22 were all female, and 33 were a combination of the both.

Lift Name Nationality Language Destination
1 Mr prejudice British English Newmarket
2 National Express Bus British English London
3 An English gentleman British English Brussels
4 Play equipment builder man Belgian English Antwerpen
5 A man Moroccan English Delft
6 A Dutch family Dutch English Rotterdam
7 Travelling businessman Dutch English Gent
8 A cool lady Belgian English Brussels
9 A strange man Belgian French Grimbergen
10 Pleasant elderly couple Belgian English Berchem
11 Friendly shaved man Belgian English  Tienen
12 Young laughing guy Belgian English  Liège
13 The balloon maker Dutch English  Maastricht
14 Judo man French English  A6 entrance
15 Smoking chef French French  L—
16 The Senegalese Enforcer Senegalese French Dijon
17 Mr weed and iPad French English Aix– (Lyon)
18 Camera Man Spanish Spanglish Genova
19 Beardy man Italian Italian Milano
20 Doctor man Italian Italian Como
21 Young Italian Italian Italian Swiss border
22 Golf teacher Italian English 25km on
23 Cello van man Swiss English Mountains
24 My notebook hero Swiss English Red cross’
25 Party man Swiss English Zurich
26 Fertiliser man Swiss English Rheinfall
27 Funky man German English –Stuttgart
28 Young policeman German English Stuttgart
29 The salesman German English Köln / Cologne
30 Happy lorry man German English D–
31 Young beardy man German English Münster
32 Kazakh-Van Kazakh Kazakh?? Osnabrück
33 A button maker German English Lohne
34 My date friend Algerian French Hamburg
35 Rammstein man German English Kiel
36 Daring lady German English Flensburg
37 Danish couple Danish English O–
38 Bulgarian trucker Bulgarian Russian Odense
39 Blond party man Danish English Stor–
40 Thai boxer and her mum Danish English Copenhagen
41 An unlikely ride Danish English Odense
42 Straight edged G Danish English Kolding
43 Mr amazing Polish Poglish Osnabrück
44 Amazing part II Polish English French border
45 Mother and Daughter German English Saarlouis
46 A friendly man French French Crz–
47 Mr quiet French French Saint Avold
48 A man French French Gas station
49 White van man British English Vitry-le-François
50 Bright Eyes French French Saint Diziers
51 Marriage Man French French Nancy
52 Moroccan Roots French French Lyon Airport
53 Curly Hair French French Lyon Metro
54 Light Man French English Peage somewhere
55 Mr Trucker French French A forest
56 French guy and girlfriend French English Nowhere (Modene)
57 Lip Ring Girl French English Autoroute
58 Man and ?Mum? French French Quiet lorry park in Italy
59 Miss Apprehensive Italian Itglish Torino
60 Origins Unknown Moldovan None Verona
61 Cricket Man Sri Lankan Itglish A road
62 Oktoberfest Trucker Italian English Padova
63 High energy father-son Indian English Autostrada
64 Cool young man Italian English Venice
65 Eco Man Italian English Padova
66 The Funny Accent Man South African English Autostrade
67 Mr 2-seater Mercedes Italian English Mestre
68 Motorway Security Italian Itglish A garage
69 I Like Milan Italian English A4
70 20 Year Old Girl Italian English Udine
71 Hungarian Chef Hungarian Hunglish Leintz
72 “You Drive, I Smoke” Italian English Graz
73 Theatre Man Austrian English  South Vienna
74 The Pianist Austrian English North Vienna
75 Mr Erotic Czech Czech Near Prague
76 Hunting Crew Czech English Prague
77 The Quiet Man Czech None  Liberec
78 The ‘Fun’ Van Polish Polish  Zawidów
79 Mum and daughter Polish English  Z–
80 Subaru Couple Polish English Wrocław
81 Auschwitz Man Polish German Auschwitz
82 Crazy driver Polish English Kraków
83 Vegan pastry man Polish English Słomniki
84 Microscope man Polish English Grojec
85 Happy Businessman Polish Polish Mińsk Mazowiecki
86 Bread delivery man Polish Polish ?
87 Marseille weed man Polish French ?
88 Lorry test brothers Polish English Ostrów
89 Dad and daughter Polish English ?
90 Mercedes Man Kazakh Russian Kaunas
91 Jazz baby Lithuanian English Vilnius
92 Army man Lithuanian Litglish Panevėžys
93 IBM sandwich man Latvian English Riga
94 Lake couple Latvian English -50km Riga
95 Trucker Russian Russian -Tallin
96 Fair trade girl Estonian English Tallin
97 Trucker couple Estonian English Pärnu
98 Mr coincidence Estonian English 20 km
99 Miss Amazing Estonian English  60 km
100 Child Translator Estonian English  20 km
101 Dinosaur, gun fight Estonian English  Tartu
102 Mr Truck Estonian Russian  20 km
103 Outdoorsy guy Estonian English  Valga
104 Sad Doctor Lady Estonian English  Valmieras
105 Mr No Speak Latvian None  Sigulda
106 Mustache man Latvian English  Riga
107 Pink Shirt Lady Latvian Latvian  A roundabout
108 Mullet man Latvian Latvian  Bauska
109 Black current boy Lithuanian English  Panevezys
110 Mr Cool Estonian English -38 km Molėtai
111 Summer house family Lithuanian English Hitch Gathering 2012
112 Scout camp girls Lithuanian English Ambraziškiai
113 Tennis children Lithuanian English Molėtai
114 A man Lithuanian Lithuanian A junction
115 Two children Lithuanian English Campsite
116 Hitch wagon Lithuanian English Hitch Gathering 2012
117 Van man Lithuanian Lithuanian 3 km
118 A couple Lithuanian Lithuanian Molėtai
119 A businessman Lithuanian English Vilnius
120 Attractive girls Lithuanian English Kaunas
121 A couple Lithuanian English 20 km
122 Linkin Park Polish None Suvalki
123 Mr apprehensive Polish Polish A gas station
124 Map man Polish Polish Augustów
125 Mustache man Polish Polish ?
126 Car buying bridge engineer Polish English Białystok
127 Sports fashion courier Polish Polish Ostrów
128 Happy apples Polish Polish Mińsk Mazowiecki
129 A new baby Polish English 20 km
130 Borat doctor Polish English ?
131 Same shirts Polish Polish ?
132 Two climbers Polish English ?
133 Good van man Polish Polish Kraków
134 Tile salesman Polish Polish Kielce
135 Card playing kid Polish Polish Warszawa
136 Pregnant mum and son Polish English 20km
137 Museum Man Polish Poglish -Radom
138 Three stoners Polish English Radom / Kielce
139 A quiet trucker Polish Poglish Radom
140 Stripy shirt man Polish English 25km
141 Dad and son Polish Polish Kraków
142 Heavy metal man Slovakian Slovakian Bratislava
143 Mr Kind Slovakian English Hungarian Border
144 Ice cream man Hungarian Hungarian Budapest
145 Bakery man Hungarian Hungarian 30km
146 Mr Friendly Hungarian Hungarian 50km
147 Bobble dog Hungarian Hunglish Zamárdi
148 A family Hungarian Hungarian Balatonlelle
149 Helpful man Hungarian German 3km
150 Van man Hungarian Hungarian 3km
151 Smart couple Hungarian English 20km
152 Psychedelic Rock Band Russian English Budapest
153 Quiet couple Hungarian English 20km
154 Holiday couple Hungarian Hunglish ?
155 A man Hungarian Hungarian 15km
156 Beardy man Hungarian German Malacky
157 UPS man Hungarian English 20km
158 Weed guys Czech English 80km
159 A trucker Czech Czech Brno
160 A man Czech German Prague
161 Badass hippy van Hungarian English Berlin
162 Leather man German English 20km
163 Mini truck man German German Tropical Island’
164 Mercedes couple German German Lübbenau
165 Shy man German None 20km
166 Turbine man German German Ruhland
167 Cool lady German English Dresden
168 Event man German English ?
169 Young man German English German border
170 The mathematician Czech English Prague
171 Mushroom picker Czech English Brno
172 Landfill Man Czech English 15 km
173 Hide from the police Slovakian None Malacky
174 Gypsy warning Romanian English Budapest
175 Eat with us Hungarian Hunglish K–
176 Cafe people Serbian English Szeged
177 Old man Hungarian Hungarian 30 km
178 BMW haulers Romanian Romanian Border
179 Haulers part 2 Romanian English – 5 km Bulgarus
180 Helpful man Romanian Spanish Bulgarus
181 Petrol Burns Romanian Romanian 5 km to main road
182 A man Romanian Romanian Timisoara
183 Dislikeables Romanian Romanian Bulgarus
184 Friendly trucker Romanian Romanian Timisoara
185 Fridge guys Romanian Romanian Moravita
186 Old moustache man Romanian Romanian Border
187 Car park trucker Serbian Serbian Pancevo
188 Open back truck Serbian Serbian Toll booth
189 Coke man Turkish Turkish Sofia
190 Drunk driver Bulgarian English Plovdiv
191 ROSPA inspectors Bulgarian English – 20 km Svilengrad
192 Scar head, peroxide wife Bulgarian None Svilengrad
193 Smiley trucker Turkish Turkish – 5 km border
194 Border man Bulgarian English Edirne
195 Racist engineer Turkish English 20 km
196 Lucky trucker Turkish Turkish 100 km
197 Squeeze in man Turkish Turkish 20 km
198 Young engineer Turkish English Istanbul
199 Little truck man Turkish Turkish 10 km
200 Weed guys Turkish Turklish 5 km to main road
201 No speak English Turkish Turkish 15 km
202 Cruisers Turkish Turklish 150 km
203 600 guests Turkish English Mal–
204 Stop and search Turkish Turkish Thessaloniki
205 I see you Greek English 10 km backwards
206 Motorway stop Bulgarian Bulgarian 150 km
207 I love football Bulgarian English 30 km
208 Mr Twitchy Bulgarian Bulglish Sofia
209 I love dogs Bulgarian English 30 km
210 Yellow van man Bulgarian Bulgarian 20 km
211 Garage owner Bulgarian English Border
212 Audi man Turkish Turkish Nis
213 Motorway truck Turkish Turkish Belgrade
214 Porn good, gay bad Turkish Turkish Maribor
215 Rocker saviour Hungarian Hungarian Ljubljana
216 Young climber Slovenian English 20 km
217 Dr Mack Slovenian English 10 km
218 Truck crew Macedonian English Stuttgart
219 Dreadlocks and family Romanian English 150 km
220 Rest stop worker and dad German English Kehl
221 Discotheque man French French 10 km
222 Brussels couple Russian English Brussels
223 Acting teacher Belgian English 20 km
224 Ukrainian lady Ukrainian English Dover
225 A lucky trucker Romanian English Newmarket
226 A worker British English 5 ways roundabout
227 “Thank-you” British English Castle Acre

3 Comments

  • How do you find people in one country who will take you to another one?! How long did you usually have to wait for someone to stop for you? This is great!

    • Just stand on the road that goes towards the border. Most people don’t mind taking you through the border if they are friendly, but if it takes a while to approve your passport, they might just leave you there and you simply catch a ride with a new person on the other side. When you’re in the Schengen area, this isn’t an issue as borders don’t exist anymore. I rarely waited more than thirty minutes for a ride and getting a ride could sometimes be instant – people pulling over before you even put your thumb up. If you’ve waited in one place for more than thirty minutes / an hour, it probably isn’t a good place and you should try to find somewhere else. It’s not an exact science, but that’s a general rule that I followed.

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