Monday, 4 October 2010
Thursday 23 September. Beograd - Skopje. 9 hours. 4 cars. 1 truck.
I take bus 29 from Slavija. I get off just after the bridge, take the stairs down to the highway and start hitching. A car stops within 10 minutes. Says he can drop me off at the pay toll. A man in his 30s. Speaks German and French, because he lived in Germany and Austria for a few years. Invites me for a drink with his friend. Then says he's actually going to Nis in a few hours and that I can catch a ride with him then. Asks if I want to wait for him...I'm like, no thanks, I can't wait a few hours. He's like if I were your boyfriend, I wouldn't let you go off alone...I'm like, it's a good thing you're not my decka then.
At the pay toll, I get my sign with "Niš" out and hold it in front of me. Within a few minutes, this trucker stops, opens the door and tells me to get aboard. He says he's heading my way. Daniel is 25, just came from Slovenia and is headed for Istanbul. His usual route includes Moscow to Istanbul. He said he stopped because he thought I looked Russian (?). We talk about his life as a truck driver and he tells me about the 3 main problems: 1. LAUNDRY (no place to do it in Turkey, but Russia apparently has excellent facilities), 2. FOOD (Russian cuisine. What cuisine?), 3. (lack of) GIRLS (and thus SEX). I tell him I really want to go to Istanbul some day. Says I can call him if I ever want to go to Istanbul, since he goes there every few months. Then asks if I have a boyfriend. I say yes. Daniel drops me off after the Macedonian border. I don't get his number.
Then I hitch 2 short rides with old men, who were friendly and dropped me off somewhere near Kumanovo. There I catch a ride with Dino, a 25 year old Albanian, studying law. I look at his windshield, it's kind of shattered. On my side. Hmm...this guy was obviously in some crash before. But he seems like a total respectable law student. Then he starts driving. Fast. Hmm...now that shattered windshield makes much more sense. The bad thing: I felt like I was in a 20 minute rollercoaster ride. The good thing: I arrived in Skopje in no time.