Hitching

nfredman at scu.edu.au nfredman at scu.edu.au
Wed Jul 30 00:00:20 MDT 2003


>Cuba was cited as a good place to hitchhike as it was officially
encouraged

When I was in Cuba in 1993, one thing that reinforced the
non-bureaucratic caste nature of the regime for me was seeing a
soldier, who from the amount of spaghetti on his shoulders looked
like an officer, patiently waiting with everyone one else at a
hitching point. Not likely to happen in a capitalist or Stalinist
regime.

I now live in an area (north coast NSW, Aust.) with high
unemployment, relatively high proportion of uni students, nice things
to see outside the main population centres but almost zero public
transport, and a history of "alternative" culture, so understandably
hitching is quite common. The student union has organised a hitching
point outside the university gate, and I'd often give several rides a
week from there or going between the town and the beach. This is
often seen by those with jobs and cars who are happy to give lifts as
a redistributive measure (maybe in terms of karma rather than social
obligation, but anyway).

However the area was shocked several years ago when an older
indigenous women was brutally raped and murdered while, presumably,
hitching. Maybe growing awareness of violence against women (and/or
apprehension about social violence in general) is one reason for the
decline in hitching (e.g. since then my partner won't pick up men by
themselves).
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