Before this past week, I´d never attempted to hitchhike somewhere and not reached my destination. Hmmm...but that was BEFORE this week.
Like weeds in a springtime flower garden, unsuccessful hitchhiking trips sprout up in piercing bunches. Last Wednesday morning, I reached the in-town highway too late. The "sparse" 6:50 traffic I´m so used to catching rides in had become a "thin" 6:55 traffic, and everybody knows cars won´t stop for you in thin traffic. And then on Monday, more of the same luck. I spent an hour on the street, and the only guy to pick me up went just twenty feet in my direction.
So, here I sit in Reykjavik. I think the most important thing to learn from this, though, is not to lose my positive attitude toward hitchhiking. So, tomorrow I´ll take to the streets like a fish takes to water...like a pig takes to mud...like a tapeworm to the inside of your stomach.
The event? - "Will and Justin´s Hitchhiking Scavenger Hunt." Here are the point values:
1 pt. - every car I ride in, but I need the driver´s name
5 - if I correctly guess, on the first try, the driver´s name
5 - for riding in the same car twice
5 - every 100 kilometers travelled
5 - for every ride (minimum 5 minutes) I speak only Icelandic in
(-2) - I lose points every time someone says the sentence, "Ég skil ekki" (I don´t understand)
5 - if I don´t speak at all in a car
10 - if I speak only German in a car (I don´t speak German)
5 - if I coax someone into saying the sentence, "Ég elska rjómaís" (I love ice cream)
5 - if I coax someone into saying, "Ég elska Guns N´ Roses"
10 - if someone says, "Press On!"
5 - if I convince someone to let me drive
5 - if I convince someone to drive 160 kilometers ph
5 - if the driver and I sing along festively to a song
5 - if I make a driver laugh for 5 seconds straight
5 - if I make a baby smile
5 - if I catch up on my sleep in someone´s car
5 - if someone buys me lunch or dinner
10 - if someone makes me dinner
5 - if someone buys me a beer
5 - if a truck-driver gives me something he´s carrying
2 - for collecting a yellow flower
3 - purple flower
5 - snow
10 - for sliding down snow
5 - a lava rock from the volcano, Hekla
5 - for catching a fish (I´d let him go)
10 - wool from a sheep that I chase and tackle myself
5 - underwater photo of a fish or crab
10 - underwater photo of a seal
10 - if I convince someone to swim with me
5 - puffin feather
20 - a whole puffin
5 - for the phone number of a cute Icelandic girl
*20* - for a kiss from a cute Icelandic girl
15 - if I hitch a ride on a boat, motorcycle, or horse
20 - on a plane
*20* - if I go down a strong river on a wooden board
5 - every time someone says, "Ţu ert brjálađur" (You´re crazy)
(-25) - for every bone I break
(immediate forfeiture) - if I die
5 - for seeing a whale or Arctic Fox
(-1) - every 25 krona I spend (exception: if it´s used to lure a cute Icelandic girl to kiss me)
(-50) - every time I mention "Will and Justin´s Hitchhiking Scavenger Hunt" to someone
Hopefully, I´ve promoted excitement for the contest by sending this list. Also, now you know the rules so I can´t cheat the day after and say something like, "I get 500 points for riding in a blue car with a garbage man and wearing my snorkel mask the whole time," and then I go home to bed with a comfortable 500-point lead over Will.
You´re probably asking, "why?" about "Will and Justin´s Hitchhiking Scavenger Hunt." Will, from Wilmot, New Hampshire, was a kid I´d planned to hitchhike with some day in Iceland. We devised the plan for "Will and Justin´s Hitchhiking Scavenger Hunt," but unforunately Will has long-since gone to his home in Wilmot. Thus, I´ll be the only competitor tomorrow, whilst Will, from Wilmot, will only be there in spirit. But, for the sport of it, I´m going to give Will, from Wilmot, 10 points for every hour of the contest. Thus, if the contest lasts from 6 am to 1 am, I´ll need to get 191 points for the win.
(Let the trash-talking begin) Will, from Wilmot, you´re going DOWN!!! I could hitchhike circles around you! The only thing your thumb is good for is to suck on, you baby! You´d better bring a fork and knife tomorrow, because you´re going to be eating the dust of ----------------------- Modern Oddyseus.
(Will, from Wilmot, that last thing didn´t make any sense. Why would you need a fork and knife to eat dust?)