In the Middle of Nowhere

Dec 18th, 2014
Nobody spoke English in the bus station… I more or less found the way to Luang Prabang. It was just too dusty and primitive for me to believe it was actually the National Road 13…… I walked on and found more and more construction scenes on this zigzaging road.
It was pretty much “in the middle of nowhere“. About every 5 minutes, 1 vehicle would pass, mainly fully loaded scooters and motorcycles, sometimes a truck, sometimes a construction vehicle, super slow super big. Only very rarely I saw pick-up trucks and cars. None stopped.
Later I came across some road workers who looked like Chinese! I passed them but soon I came back and a young guy with glasses asked me if I was Chinese. We talked and told them what the hell I was doing in this “unbelievably busy” place. Not only the new road was financed by Chinese, the engineering and quality controlling were also done by Chinese. They were with some locals. One of the them spoke Chinese and Laotian because he was a descendant of those soldiers of Nationalist Chinese Government who hided here to assault and subtage the Communist Regime after the Nationalists lost the war with Mao in Mainland China in 1949 and withdrew to Taiwan (that’s why the official name of Taiwan is Republic of China). He was a jolly guy, about 40 something old and was singing from time to time. He tried to stop some cars for me. When a pick-up truck did stop, he helped me to talk with them. However, I could see that those people were quite closed and they seemed scared when I wanted to go with them. Off they went……
I said goodbye and walked on. This road was well shadowed by tall trees thriving on the red soil of the mountains. It’s getting cold as the sunlight started to fade away. I put on a thin sweater and walked on.
For the first time in my hitchhiking life, I had sleeping gear with me! 😀 Yes! I had a sleeping bag, brand new in my backpack, so no worries if I had to sleep somewhere in the grass tonight! 😀
I almost lost my hope and just walked on and waved my hand mechanically. A car stopped! Unbelievable!!
I ran to it. The driver was a young guy and the car had a Laotian number board! OMG! Where was my note?! I wrote somewhere how to say “Are you going to Luang Prabang? May I go with you?” in Laotian on a piece of paper. I was searching and he asked without any expression on his face:”Are you Chinese?” in Chinese…
–“Get in.”
Yes, for the 3rd time of the day, a Chinese driver took me. This would never happen in China… When I tried to hitchhike from Guangzhou to the North, I waited for more than 2 hours and nobody stopped. When I asked those who were resting on the roadside, they all said no. When I was just walking back to the city, a car finally stopped! but a police car… The policeman asked me to get into his car. “It’s both illegal and dangerous to walk on the highway, you know?” I talked with him and eventually he drove me to a bus station.”Don’t do it again. I am nice but other policemen maybe not. Hitchhiking works in other countries but we have a different situation in China.” That’s the end of my hitchhiking experience in China……
I searched on internet, both in English and Chinese and only found one Chinese person who succeeded in hitchhiking in China, a young student who hitchhiked back home from his university. Pretty cool! It works better in the North and West and the area around Guangzhou may be just the worst place for hitchhiking. Apart from him all the hitchhiking experiences in China were from foreigners… exactly speaking, Caucasians…… For them it was always “fine” or “very easy”…… 😉 😉

Laotian School Kids on the Road
Laotian School Kids on the Road

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