Not just a bunch of slow folks...

Trip Start Jan 05, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Friday, August 10, 2012

Hitching from Houston was interesting to say the least. Firstly for a relatively short hitching trip, I had four separate rides. Secondly, for the first time I asked to be let out of a car before we'd arrived. Finally, I lied to the police and then… just read on…

My first ride was with this strange strange chainsmoking couple. I hadn’t realised upon getting in that the driver was drinking beer, but became nervous when I saw that. Then in addition to chain smoking he was smoking from a pipe, I couldn’t smell the contents of the pipe cause of the windows being down and it all blowing out the window, but I assume marijuana. This is the physical evidence of it being a bad ride. The mental evidence was in the conversations I was having with the guy and the lack of conversation with his wife. His wife would not look at me or talk to me, which was uncomfortable and disconcerting. He kept walking about taking me to see the alligators, which in my mind was translating to "I am going to feed you to the alligators…" So, when he stopped at a gas station to go to the toilet I asked to be let out. Meanwhile, on Facebook where I had uploaded a picture of him for safety reasons my friends were freaking out that I may or may not be currently in the trunk of some crazy person’s car… and I couldn’t get online in that area to let them know I was alive and well.

The next guy who picked me up was a cool guy named Marcus. He’d just finished working and was headed home to Lafayette, Louisiana. We stopped at Arby’s and Marcus bought me lunch, which I appreciated. I decided he was a decent person, and maintain contact with him via Facebook. It is always good when you meet cool people while hitching.

In Lafayette the guy who picked me up, think his name was Ron, was a little bit on the slow side. He told me his life story and he seemed to have a gambling addiction amongst other problems. He kept leading the conversation to sex as well, not in the way where he was harassing me or anything but in the 'I’m going to tell you about my sexual history’ type of way. So, Ron hadn’t had sex in 12 years, almost had sex with this homeless lady he had picked up hitching when he was a truck driver but she refused to have sex unless they were marries, and his mates once bought him a fat toothless hooker who after a few minutes of giving him a blowjob looked up at him and asked, “Are you ever going to get hard?” and he responded, “Are you ever going to get pretty?”

He dropped me off in Baton Rouge near Belle Casino and I was happy to be out of the car. I walked a bit, the area he dropped me in was a horrible place to hitch from in the direction I wanted to go. I decided to play dumb, asked a guy at a gas station if he knew how to get to where I was going… he was from out of town. So I walked a bit further and saw two cop cars parked, and another cop car drive past me. I thought about this and decided that I was probably in a dodgy area and that walking around with my smartphone using Google Maps was probably a bad idea if I didn’t want to be robbed… I turned around and walked to the police cars.

(This is the part when I lie). I tell them my sob story: I was in a rideshare and the person driving was drinking, so I asked to be let out and I have no idea where I am. They respond like I assumed they would, offering me a ride to my destination which was 10 miles away. Success!

Also, the police officer who gave me the lift was the most friendly, and cool police officer I think I have ever met. He was funny and I had a great time chatting with him, even jokingly insulting him a few times when we couldn’t figure out how to open the gate! Haha

Anyway, suppose I should actually start talking about Baton Rouge instead of getting to Baton Rouge. The police officer walked me to the door of the place I was staying and knocked, Kelly my couchsurfing host answers the door and sees me standing there with a police officer! Classic arrival! She was impressed!

We quickly started chatting, and I found that she was amazingly easy to feel at ease with. Then she left with her New Zealand friend/housemate Jack to go to a concert, and I was left at her house with another one of her friends named Sarah. Sarah and I got along pretty well, as we had similar interests in music etc…

Kelly returned a woman who had found love, I learnt at this moment that she had an insatiable attraction to older slightly greying bearded men and had found her future husband in the form of an time-hardened country musician.

Afterwards some more of her friends showed up, and it became a really cool accepting little group of people, playing guitars and singing all night long. I really enjoyed being there, and at moments during the night when they’d sing I was moved by their voices and their incredible attitudes.

I think the strangest thing in my opinion and it isn’t really that strange but my mind kept returning to this thought throughout the night, was that there were three amazing singers in this group and all were practically chainsmoking… I just couldn’t help but feel a slight amount of sadness about what will happen to their voices one day.

I went to bed at about 4am and woke up at around 9 or 10am. Kelly didn’t rise until after midday. Jack a little later. Sarah was up and about sporadically throughout the morning and then finally up completely a little after Jack.

The day was spent in a relaxed fashion. We went for hangover fried chicken at the popular Louisianan fast food joint Raising Cane’s and then all of a sudden everyone was in bed and I was left wandering around. I decided to spend my time calling home while trying to catch lizards and chase ducks. It was brilliant!

The days basically went the same way each time, everyone gathered in the evenings and drank, played music, had a good time eventually going their separate ways and having a lazy day before returning to Kelly’s to do it all over again the next evening.

On Sunday, Kelly initiated a Sunday Funday where people would come over and cook dinner based on a theme (the theme being Asian while I was there, which meant hand made sushi by Janet!) and then to continue on with the even happily full!

Some evenings Kelly did take me out. One to see local nightlife, and local guys deciding the best ways to be jerks such as one grabbing onto my hand and not letting me go. It’s alright though, Kelly came to my rescue! One night to see the meteor shower. There was one really long bright blue one that was worth every mosquito bite! And one night to see a musician friend of her’s play at a local Jazz bar, during that night both Kelly and Jack had turns performing which was fun for me as an observer!

I have to say that of every place I have been it has been Baton Rouge that surprised me the most, and such a good surprise! It was exactly what I needed after Texas! The people I met in Baton Rouge are going to stay in my heart forever as guides to the proper way to live life!
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