I said to Lucy when we were hitching that I find it interesting, and important in a way, hitching after a big news event.
A fun one that immediately comes to mind is the East Anglia earthquake in spring 2008. I think I hitched a couple of days later to my dad’s house, a mere 50-mile journey, and talked in every ride about the earthquake. People got a lot of joy out of it.
I remember leaving Skanda Vale (the community I was living in in Wales all last year but visited plenty before) a few years ago after being there for a couple of weeks or so. I wasn’t hitching that time, but taking trains. I noticed that something pretty intense had unfolded in the news (I hadn’t heard any news the whole time I’d been away) because of the atmosphere on the trains and at the stations. Everything was completely on edge. A horrible death had happened in London, and all the media had of course described it in outrageously graphic detail.
My point for giving these examples is to illustrate how an incident that a collective civilisation either experiences themselves or is, in effect, forced to experience by the media has a transformative effect on the actions of the people, and the general vibe going around. So whilst the first example gave a very fun vibe, the second was very negative and wouldn’t have been nice to hitch during.
Today we heard over the radio about an incident that is immediately described as ‘suspected terrorist’. I felt it was my duty to stand there for a few minutes by the side of the road with a joyful smile (because the weather was gorgeous, and I’m generally very happy to be hitching after work!) and waiting till the kindness of someone driving by came about. And Lucy was game too, but we weren’t so concerned with beating the bus today.
The vibe seemed quite clearly different. I counted one wave in about five minutes stood there, and few slight smiles. In my last experience, I would’ve received countless waves and smiles in that amount of time. People seemed like they were immersed in their own worlds.
The bus passed, I put my head in hands again, and a couple of minutes passed still until……..
Charlie works also at Neutrik. He’s a nice chap, he was my neighbour a while back when he first arrived and we got on well. He came to Neutrik because of wanting to get out of bar-work after most his working life having been in pubs.
We talked a fair bit about work and quickly arrived in Brading, and he said he’d happily take Lucy back to Shanklin. I gave a card, selfy’d, and bid adieu till the morning.
And I came out to an awesome sunshine lowering over the Brading houses (pic above).
And I write this on a bus going to Ventnor for a badminton club, full of little kids talking excitedly about anything and everything, totally in the essential needs of being here right now 🙃