Do you pick up hitch hikers? Have you ever wanted to pick up a hitchhiker? I used to pick up hitchhikers quite often in Minnesota and honestly I always had good experiences with them. You know, I’d pick someone up, we’d share some life, listen to each others’ stories, feel like great buddies and then part ways. Sometimes I’d even have an opportunity to help them out or whatever. Well, living in Turkey, I always thought it’d be the same.
When I was new in Turkey, I’d be traveling to Antakya to see my in-laws on weekends and we’d sometimes see people who looked like they needed a ride; often standing under a freeway overpass trying to flag down someone for a ride. Strangely they were usually young women, but whatever. I’d notice them from my bus window or from a crowded car and think “If I ever have a chance to give a hitchhiker in Turkey a ride, I’ll do it.*”
One day a couple years into my time in Turkey, my wife Rana and had finally bought a car. We were traveling to Antakya just the two of us, and sure enough we passed under an overpass and saw a stranded, (attractive female,) traveler on the side of the road and buzzed by.
Rana said “did you see that?”
I was like “Yea, do you think we should try to turn around and give her a ride? Her car probably broke down.”
Rana said “Are you Crazy? That’s a prostitute!”
“Shut up, you’ve got to be kidding me.” I said and remained unconvinced.
Well, I’ve become convinced over the years as I have seen numerous semi trucks pulled off to the side of the freeway with women getting in or getting out, and it’s been increasingly obvious that those “stranded travelers” are usually young women in miniskirts and always seem to stand under the same overpasses.
So the lesson of the day is to be careful when picking up strangers on the freeway in Turkey. There’s more to this story that I’ll share tomorrow. Stay tuned.
*no pun intended