At the time I have lived in a village on the road from Maribor to Ptuj, both interesting traveling destination, just young enough to do more sofisticated stupid things and just old enough to do them responsibly. That is why I didn’t think twice when a girl from Poland wrote about a hitch-hiking contest taking place around Europe, hoping I could host her and her boyfriend who had won before and were planning on winning again. Of course, I wrote back, explained that this would be my first time and they should be gentle. I started planning for everything, even though they could stay only for a night, when secong message arrived. Two more polish people. I checked with the previous two if it was ok to host two more, that they were probably from the same contest since they were also hitch-hikers. I, of course, had to rearrange everything, think hard about how am I gonna be able to entertain 4 people at once, what the hell am I gonna offer them that is slovenian enough and that would trully represent my country the best and all the little stuff that comes with having guests. When everything is planned to perfection, something is bound to go wrong, right? Well, I wouldn’t really say wrong but the whole weekend was full of surprizes, simply unpredictable. The first two came a day early, they had too much luck hitch-hiking.
If hitch-hiking was a trade, these two would be professionals for sure. Even though we had a slight language barrier, they explained me all about the contest, the superabsorbant travel towell they had won the time before and how they have to get to Maribor 20 km away to meet up with others. The weather was extremelly hot and dry so I didn’t envy their trip even only this 20 km but it was something they had to do to win this contest. In the meantime I had to prepare for the other pair that was coming tonight, went through the same process of thinking what would happen and how will I be able to participate. Kuba and Ula came just before Kasia and Tomasz returned with a big big favor to ask. It seems their friends couldn’t find a place to crash for a while now and they need to finally get a good night sleep, if it would be possible in any way… Again, without even thinking, I said, of course, if they’re willing to sleep on the floor, I can give them some blankets and stuff and by the way, how many are we talking here? Four more people?! But they are willing to sleep anywhere? Sure they’re welcome, the more the marrier. I was a bit worried but the thought of 4 totally exhausted young people sitting by the side of the road or trying to put up a tent at a rest stop was to much. When they finally arrived, put their bags down and most gratefully accepted the option of a shower, they compared sunburns and traveling experiences with the others. Once again I had to organize the sleeping arrangement, giving up my own bed and sleeping on the floor myself. I have to admit I was the second one to fall asleep, quiet planning of the rest of the route with some beers after a very long day for them and me was very calming in a way and the rest of the evening passes by in oblivion on my part.
Saying goodbye to the bunch was as sad as to be expected, heartbraking and relieving at the same time. It was great having them as my first guests but I was glad to get my peace back. For a while at least.