21 July 2016
Transportation: 1 truck, 2 cars
Duration: 6 hours
As the trip from Stuttgart to Zurich, since it was my first time hitchhiking crossing border, I decided to take carpooling to get me to Zurich. Luckily, it was a good option because that day had a terrible weather. It was a blast staying in Zurich. Staying with my host Tim Dubbels, it has partly confirmed how great Couchsurfing is. Tim has made my stay awesome and a great company. On the last day, he kindly took the morning off and drove me the first 40 minutes in the direction to Milan. I got a chance to watch the most picturesque view in Switzerland before hitting the road again.
Being dropped off at a gas station which is just few kilometres away from the Gotthard tunnel and having the farewell with Tim, I was ready to hitchhike. The sun was strong and it started heating up. I struggled the first 20 minutes in the hot weather. It was a hard time to hitchhike at that moment since everyone went on holidays and most cars were full of people. I was hoping to have someone let me join the ride soon because the sun shining directly to my face really made me dehydrated and tired. After awhile, a truck picked me up and offered me a trip to Bellizona. The truck driver didn’t speak any English, neither German. With a little Spanish knowledge, I tried to communicate with him just to catch some awkward conversations. Everything went fine the first hour driving. We made a stop to rest the truck as he told that it was needed. He started a conversation which I could hardly understand what he was trying to say. He was saying something about money, writing down 100CHF = 95€, which I thought he wanted me to pay him as I took his ride. Then, he pointed to the mattress behind him and gave me a package of condom. I was stunt for a second, and calmly said No. I really did not know what I was trying to do eventually – Should I have run? I was in the middle of nowhere and being freaked out would not solve the problem. He asked me twice if I wanted to have sex with him and he would pay me 100CHF. I told him I had a boyfriend and would not do that, which would be the stupidest excuse because he wouldn’t care obviously. “I could go out here and catch another ride from here” – I told him. He said it was cool and he would drive me to Bellizona. He actually asked around a guy if he was driving to Milan but sadly he said no. At one point, I thought I could not do anything much at that moment so I continued my trip and tried to ‘act cool’. Was I scared? Of course I was, but I did not show that to him. I just had to wait to arrive in Bellizona and for this ride to end. I was out of that truck after 10 minute ride from the last stop.
The guy who was asked by the truck driver was at the same stop as I was dropped off. He recognised me and asked me if I wanted to share the ride even though he was not going to Milan. He was kind and gave me a ride to a town near by to take a train to the Milan city centre. Having arrived in Milan, I fell completely relieved. The image of the truck driver giving me the condom terrified and traumatised me but it was a lesson to learn. I was safe and that was all I knew.