Unusual Encounters (at least for me)


Living in Sabah, it’s very rare to see hitchhikers on the road. At least those ones that are portrayed in movies (you know, those people carrying a huge backpack over their shoulders, putting their thumbs up in the air when a car comes close hoping to get a free ride). I don’t know about others but for me, it’s not a common thing to see here.

So when I do see one, I get really excited. Don’t judge. I get really, really excited as if I’m meeting a celebrity.

Last Saturday, I saw a guy on the road. I thought he was some homeless man because he was pulling some stuff by a cart thing on the side of a busy road. I looked at this man, my friend who was driving was also expressing her confusion, and I saw the sign he was holding. It was a cardboard sign with the word ‘AIRPORT’ written on it with a black marker. In that split second, I looked at his face and he was beaming with his smile. He was practically skipping to a car that had stopped for him.

I don’t know why but it made me so happy.

I went home and told a friend of mine about the little encounter I just had. And she reminded me of another hitchhiker (or probably just a guy on the side of the road, but he was a white guy in an Asian country,  though) I met about two years ago.

I was on my way to my kampung when we drove past this man. I vaguely remember him looking like Chick from Bates Motel (a little more clean cut and a shorter beard). He wore a bunch of colourful clothes, I figured it must be the traditional clothes he’d acquired on his ongoing adventure. As we drove past him, his eyes met mine and I must’ve looked like a kid getting her birthday cake because he smiled at me, with his tired eyes.

And just like that, he made my day. For a whole week, I developed a crush on this unknown man I saw on the side of the road. That weird moment made me long for a life that I’ve never had.

I wish I had the chance to talk to these men and listen to their stories. Oh well. Wherever they are, I hope they’re safe and still having fun with their adventures.