A brief encounter

The way to travel on land on these islands is not always as rapid as what it might have been in the past when still living on land. We obviously don't own a car, not even bikes anymore, so our land based choice of travel normally stands between 1.) Bus 2.) Taxi - even though we rather not spend money on taxis plus it's often hard to find one if you're not right outside a resort or cruise ship terminal which we very seldom are, and 3.) Hitchhiking. If we need to get from one point to another, we normally get out on the street, wait for a bus to drop by and if it doesn't, we always end up hitching. Because of no more trains for the night, we once hitched all the way from Toulouse in France to Barcelona, Spain. Was a very efficient journey as we only needed three different cars/drivers to get to our final destination, 250 miles (400 km) away. Also in Corsica we hitched our way through the mountains because we could forget about finding a bus, taxi or even a car rental shop. 

I love the concept of hitching. It's a very dynamic way to move. You basically get picked up and invited into a strangers private space for a while and it sometimes makes for a very amusing, mixed experience. One second you're conversing with an younger French couple about their experience in the Caribbean, the second second you're listening to a local woman singing gospel in her white Nissan (image) and the third you're sitting next to a bar owner who complains about the slow season and hear him lament about the inflation and economic situation of the island. 

You won't have to worry that you're disturbing anyone as they obviously wouldn't pick you up if they were bothered. Most of the kind people that actually do pick up, are often willing to have a little chat, mostly about their own lives and situations. Which gives you, occasionally a good laugh, always an interesting moment of exchange with a stranger you normally wouldn't start a conversation with. It's the bizarre melange of rapidly swapped situations that I love so much about the whole process. The weirdness of coming so intimately close to people you normally wouldn't. You are literally invited into someones home. The place where they feel most comfortable. You get to see what they wear to work, which music they prefer listening to, how they answer the phone.. You are an observer of someone in his or hers very private sphere where they are just the people they are, while you being as much of a stranger to them as they to you. And shortly after the encounter, you leave them behind and will probably never see them again. And of course, the journey brings you to your desired destination. Sometimes faster, most of the times more comfortable, than what the bus would have managed.