The Hitchhiker

The other day, when driving back from Kitwe, I decided to pick up a couple of hitch hikers. I’m not sure why I do this to myself, because it is usually supremely awkward as their English is usually not brilliant (my Bemba is worse) and I feel as though I can’t play music too loudly, so we tend to simply sit there in an awkward silence. Anyway, something compelled me to try try again.

I pulled over for these two middle-aged women. After confirming where they were headed (and in the process, confirming that this would be another supremely awkward encounter) one got in the front, and the other taller slimmer lady went to get in the back. She opened the side with Jacob’s car seat in so I motioned to her that, maybe she should go around to the other door. Again, not really understood, because sure enough she continues to try to get in that side. So I start to move my bag and cooler (that were in the footwell on that side) so that she can shimmy past. But does she shimmy? She shimmys not. To my surprise (and smothered delight) when I look up, this tall, slim, fully grown, middle-aged woman is perched silently in Jacob’s car seat! Wearing stoic expressionless face. It was one of the funniest things I think I’ve ever seen. I wish I’d let her stay in there, I wish I’d got a photo. Sadly, I said that maybe she’d be more comfortable moving out of the car seat (seeing as her head was skimming the roof)… Needless to say that throughout the awkward silence of the journey onwards, there were little stifled sniggers coming from the front as I recalled the image. Classic.

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