Monday, August 29, 2011

Hitchhiking story - Being in the car with psychopat or How I got to/from Registro to Rio de Janeiro

Just last 630 km!...Main road,the most frequented road...
It was almost one of my last rides. U know how it goes,or everybody who ever lifted a his or his thumb. In 1 billion of cars there is always one of them,or maybe two. But this time,I was somehow following the hints and my heart and didn't realised in one point,when I was getting out of Curitiba direction to Rio de Janeiro,that probably that maybe this could be my last one,that  I wouldn't be able to make it to Rio safe,if its get a dark.

The story starts like this. I got out of Curitiba to first gas station - Santa Rosa or what was the mame of the gasstation (I should make a manual for it,as the curitiba is quite unconquarable place and quite difficult to get out as well). 
It was abour 1 pm,still nice and a light and   was walking around the gas station when someone saw me and asked me where I am going (this doesnt happen very often,believe me) and the answer was that they could take me about 160 kilometers on the road. This distance in South America means well,pretty nothing. But anyway,the person seemed to be nice guy with a kid,then I was invited to see the finca and at the end meet the family members - well,will tell u the story somehow later on maybe one day.
The thing was,that the person who took me on finca (big isolated farm),couldn't leave from there,as he didnt told me that his father os going to move somewhere else and he need to pack and say everybody goodbye. 
And a take a shot with everybody as well,u know hot it goes. 

Cachaça here, cachaça there and in between the beer at the house which was working like a bar for all this small 8 fincas congregation. (I wasnt drinking and still hoping and trying to push the driver to somehow return me to the main road,to can continue).

U know how Brazilians could be amazingly hospitable,nice and frendly and you just simply can't be bad to them,u cant even be asertively bad to them,
as they just wanted to show u around and invited you for a lunch,and cut the gigantic Jaca for u (I have never ate jaca before from,cutted down from a tree by machete just in front of u, I have just seen Jacas near the road or the street already fallen and full of ants and various insect which came for the sweet feast) and changed your wet socks and promissed to bring u back to main road.
What if they promise,they do it,u can put a hand in fire for it.

And u know,that that was the reason why I ended up at 7 pm - already brazilian night (northern you go,sooner it gets darker) on some not very frequented gasstation,where they sworn me for their souls that they know the owner and he ,for sure have or at least know some trucks (as he was from spedition company) going to Rio. Very unprobable,as we were just behind the frontier with state Paraná and Sao Paulo close to Registro. But I didn't have any other option, just to trust them.
We got there and I already knew that it wouldn't be that easy - as normaly the spedition from Sao Paulo,stays in Sao Paulo,which would be much worse option. I needed to get behind this "Giant".
And there is furthermore,especially in this state of Brazil the thing,that the trucks are monitored. And they cant stop where they want or need. Mostly the doors gets locked from outer place and being monitored trough satelite,having rails on their windows on trucks and people are increadibly paranoid and suspicious. So its quite difficult to get a ride over there (I was once almost kicked out from Gas station,which was guarded for asking the people where they are going,for making the place seem to be unsecure - as I am not employee of the gas station and I am doing something the Brazilian wouldnt do,makes me untrustable individual).

Anyway -back to the gas station. Almost no trafic,clocks passing by,me getting nervous. I dont like to stay awake whole night and then I would have to go in 36 hours again back to Sao Paulo,which would mean for me a huge nonsense going to Rio for several hours. I needed to resolve some things over there. I needed to get there right in the morning.
I was still about 650km from there.Trough the mountains (well,brazilians claim that they dont have any mountains,but something around 1500m over sea level is quite a mountain for me. Nao temos montanhas so temos cerras - I was told on university of Paraiba,when I studied there :D Then I brought the list of Mountains for the next class. Gosh,I am vicious ;)) 
And if anyone of u would be interested in the list of mountains in Brazil which are just getting to the hight of 3000 m over sea level here comes the link

I just felt in the air the feeling that something could happen,something very wrong and in my head appeared
the tought:"Sue,this is a good night to die." Strange thinking for a hitchhiker,strange thing which just got so real as when u know that something will be very very wrong and u cant do anything about it,as it's going to get u sooner or later.
So calm,so dark,just *Mata Atlantica (something which looks ike rain forest) around with lot of animals. Place where u get lost and never found. Something smelled terribly wrong over there and I started to be scared from no reason...
To make quiet my conscious I just switched to idea: "Sue,we need to get to Rio,if they kill us,good. Then the problem is solved itself,if not,good,we will make it there anyhow."
As I am quite deterministic and believe that what should happen will happen anyhow and it has it's reason. Positive thinking :)
Then suddenly there stopped 2 trucks. They looked empty,that means normally that they will be fast. They looked shabby and old. Just to explain u in Brazil in some point they are no controls on the roads for speed or drugs,alcohol whatever. That means that the driver just a make small manipulation with retarder on a speedmeter or better said switch it off and hurray - here we go 120!
And in any case of being caught they pay themselves out. Though - good thing such an empty truck without retarder. I went to ask.
The first guy looked like serial killer so I was happy that he just answered arogantly that he is not heading to Rio. I asked just for fun,another one. They seemed going together,but well.. U never know. Time was ticking ..
Usualy I use to walk around,make jokes and just for fun ask "And what about u,not even bit further on? To the next gas station,hopefully more frequented?"(In Spain I got with this method one petrol station to another one trough Critical unhitchhikable part - Between Murcia after several kilometers from Valencia, definitely worst places to get stuck!)
This guy was suspicious type with the maniacal look,but whatever. Anyway,the another one just put me down, so I thought,what I will loose if I ask. There was noone else and I didnt have much to do. I did ask,trying to make him smile and wondering where they are heading. They were going somewhere to Petropolis (which would mean for me to get like 60 kms just in front of the Rio soon in the morning!). That would be great!Another thing was that he looked dangerous ... And it was a night. But the chance that someone will stop there were quite low. It was getting almost 9 pm. At 10 they will close the gasstation and there will stay the eternal silence and the scream of monkeys from the nearest hills and forests.
And furthermore it was cold. The Brazil was in winter (mid june is like that),quite chilly especially on the south...
I asked if I can come with and he looked at me with that suspicious look,as if I am a bate or something. (Many times in South America in general they put a nice girl to get in a car or a truck and then in one point - having the localization and the person in,they come to rob it)
So I started to explain my situation very quickly and that I really need to get to Rio as I have a plane next day at night etc etc. Just to flood the brain of the person with information and explanaitions.
And at the end,he accepted to take me with.

I knew that there could be trouble,but as soon as I got all information,I knew that they wouldnt have time to create one, as they were made to drive nonstop (36 hours in a round)
Yeah,another crazy thing about brazilian drivers - sometimes they are made by company or they have their own bussiness bulit like that,that they are obliged to drive nonstop for 3-4 days (no stop for sleep,rest,just food and water)
You would ask "How they do it?" right? :) Magical pills called Arebich - just for medical prescription easyly buyable anywhere in the farmacy especially on the north and northeast of the country without any prescription. The people are so nice that they want to help u and dont want to make u trouble with going to doctor,so they will sell them to u,just saying "I really need them,madam."
Cheap thing causing insomnia,kills the need for food or drinks and as a negative effect sexual impotence, itchy skin and many others.
Many people there are living on this for years and years.
I will try to write about this maybe later.

So we started the engine,switched on the front lights and we set on the journey. Dark night,lot of the stars and mountains in state of Sao Paulo - it should be very nice route during the day.**
I have noticed that he is going very fast and his speedmeter doesnt work. Asking with a voice of very happy naive talkative person,starting the conversation about typical issues: Where is he comming from,what do we carry and where and why etc. In one moment there just happened to be silence,silence and the darkness,just the red lights from the speedmeter and other gadgets. And we running crazyly down the hill,to turns. I tried to switch of my brain and put the dull mode: not accepting,transmitting or getting out any thought or feelings.
He, in all of the sudden, asked me :" Have u ever been to prison?"
Me: "No,not yet and u?:)" Smiling,keep smiling and sound merry! Question of a silly little child like if we were playing some "guess,what game" during the sunny warm day .
He said with a wild smile on his lips: "Yes,I did."
Nodding with his head,moving here and there with eyes wide opened.
In that moment my brain started to run on the hyperhighway with full of junction trying to recalculate all the possible options what could happen. Hush! Switch to dull silly happy tone!:" And what have u done?" Like a little kid, asking where is the dog gone. (when someone smashed him in front of the house with a new shiny car) And nobody want to hear the truth.
He:"Well,u know ... I did something"
Me: "What was it if I may ask?"
He: "U know,something ...."
My brain started to work much faster: something something,rapes?killings?kidnaps?no ... we are not in area of kidnapping ... Calm down,if he doesnt want to tell u himself,dont ask. He will come to it. Thats why he started,didnt he?
Still playing sweet stupid optimistic little child:"O.K... But how much did u spent in prison?"
Started to be curious,as we were talking about nuclear fusion (well,I am wierd,I know,but I like science ;)
He:"Not much,just 4 years."
Me thinking more positively.
Well for 4 years he shouldnt have done something really wrong,something,really bad and vicous... Something creepy. Even though that justice system in Brazil is quite funny and sometimes somehow the people who would go in USA on a electric chair for the same crimes,in Brazil they get away with nothing or a little. But this pays for higher class society or someone who has a lot of connections or enough money to get out. And he didnt seemed to be something like that,but who knows... U never know who knows who and where. And what he had to do to get out.
Me:'"Well,4 years its not that much,even though I have no idea what have you done,but maybe u would like to tell me."
He:"But,u know ... hmm... I did, u know ..." Thinking. Then he finally spit it out "I was shooting."
Me:"O.K. Shootings happen every day in Brazil and what happened? Did anybody got hurt?"
He: "Yeah,well,I killed them!"
Me:"Oh, right and how many of them."
He: "U know,I killed them both!My wife and him,her lover. That bitch was cheating on me." (as if they all havent been cheating on their wives,girlfriends etc.? appeared in my mind)
Me: "Well,that happenes,when someone gets angry." Consolating word always works. And he calmed down. Didnt seem anymore stressed and nervous.And I have changed the subject.
Asking about his origin,past,family,present etc.
It was a guy from very poor with a quite difficult family background - out of 9 kids of mixed race indians and whatever living in small village in forests of Parana (he had the Guarani's face,what was obvious for me,especially because I just came few days ago from Paraguay - where 90 percent of the inhabitants are Guaranis -Indians and who isnt there would be always some drop of the bloodline from Guarani ;).
People over there have the special dark cicles around the eyes,with huge shiny dark eyes,which could be recognized in origin of some brazilains as well.
The guy's parents were alcoholic and they used to torture them and abuse. He ran away from home when he was about 14 and fell in love with that  girl when he was about 17. Then later on,working late he just found her with someone else and killed them. O.K. the story was clear for me and he seemed to feel better having someone there who he can tell all this. It was half past 10. The estimated arrival to Rio to junction when I had to go out - around 6:30 am. Whole night ahead of us. I got somehow too nervous and cautius to go to sleep.
Then we suddenly stopped...
He needed to take the pill,the magical pill,to keep driving. Right away he got alergic reaction.
He was scratching everywhere and very nervous. So as I am bringing always with me the antihistaminics(the pills against the alergy) I gave him one or two. And till then for the itchy skin I gave him a lotion against mosquitos,which left me jewish couple from Izrael and Mexico who I met in  Buenos Aires and we used to live in the same hostel. 
So I gave that to him. He didnt trust me at first,especially about antialergic pill,but at the end I explained him everything,how it will react in his body,what will it cause etc. and he took it. In that moment I knew that I am safe and that he wouldnt try to hurt me. I went to sleep,waking up in intervals of 1,5 hour or when the truck slowed a bit down.
U always wake up when the car is slowing down.U always feel it,especially when u are sleeping.
When I woke up the radio was silently playing and he was gone. Good. I jumped out and went for a toilet.
When I came  back he was already waiting there,with these wild eyes.
So I innocently appologised and we started the engine again. He wanted,he needed to talk.
This time again with this naive tone of a kid playing on a playground telling me: "I will tell you a story,do u want"
Me: "Yes,why not :) I am one big ear."
He started to tell the story:" I used to work during one time like a mechanic in some place. And I used to have  a lot of friends.We were doing a lot of parties,barbecues and so on. 
Once,I was asked by one friends,who were neighbours,one couple,with a woman,u know,hot and sexy,great cook,great cook with these huge bongo-mongo tits. Uff,how she was delicous.
Well,I was asked by her husband to come for a barbecue. We were drinking,one glass after another and I was getting tipsy. It was very hot outside,very hot. The lady of the house,damn too pretty to be truth!,was making us the steaks and how she was pretty that day. In that dress.
We were sitting with this friend,neighbour and drinking and suddenly he tells me. U know, I would really love to see someone else fucking my wife.(Anyway - the truckdriver was married that time with 3 kids already)
So as I was tipsy and she was so hot and I dont know why... I just came there and I did it.I did it without asking her permission. She didnt know about that he asked me. Fucking her hard and she seemed to like it at the end. For sure,she did! And he was watching us,oh yeah,he was watching us. How I am doing it to his wife.
(The description could go on and on - for several pages. These kinds of topics are forbidden and u try to avoid it,but Brazilians simply love talk about sex with all the spicy details and openly:)
Me thinking in my head that this story smells by rape somehow.
He continued:"U know,then they never asked me to come again,we never met again and they actually moved away. Pity,she was really very pretty."
After that I fell asleep again,we were approaching to state of Rio. It was about 3 am. Sometimes I just close my eyes,put the ignore mode or face that I havent heared anything and fall asleep with this alarm set on if any unappropriate movement or whatsoever was happening to wake up. My heart was pumping from fear,but its better to seem that u ignore what u have been told than to accept the reality that this person is really very dangerous. And noone will hurt to sleeping child,right?
I woke up again,5:30,we were on Serra already in state of Rio,passed Volta Redonda. The sun had to rise very soon. All the sky was the mixture of pink,violet and blue,as if someone put the feather in the different painting collors and made a strokes on the sky.Tiny,light strokes with a feather, the new day was borning. The hope was up,I made it. I am still alive and in state of Rio and in few hours I will see Laura and Mathieu. My sweet Laura (we used to live in the same house in Joao Pessoa).I was really looking forward to it. I wouldnt miss it for anything.And I had a lot of stuff to arrange in Rio.Lot of unsolved questions which I left behind.
Keeping thinking of the million and one thing the guy wanted to talk and talk.
And this time as usual he picked the topic of the sex. He wanted to know how does the things work in Slovakia,how are the people and what are our ideas of everything (U know I am shy kid from Cristain base state, that even here I am quite radical and generaly I never talk about these things).
But it was morning and I was trying to explain my curlture as cultivated and nonsexual way as I know. Talking about sex without mentioning anything which would expose that,yes,we do it as well ;))
This makes me laugh again and again when I remeber,how he was amazed and surpried. That not everything and not everybody is like is in Brazil. Not all the things works the same way over there as here and so on. He seemed like a little boy on class of a subject which really interested him. So we spent last hour talking about us Slovaks and the culture,the way of life and death,our opinions etc. (Maybe someone would say its a pity,that if the only person,who the foreigners meet is me and I am making the image of the country,but well, when u travel and who travels knows : The country is the person.)
This way we descened from the Serra to theValley. It was already bright morning and the sun was starting to shine. The wam weather was approaching like a boomerang thrown to kill the kengoroo. The sky was promissing amazing warm sunny day. (After several months of autumn/winter time in Argentina and Chile),I felt like the happiest person on the planet and everything was so amazing. As if I would never left. The smell,the vegetation,the road...
We were approaching to the junction. He called with radio to a collegue,that he will drop me on the closest petrol station. He slowed down and finally stopped.
He told me: "I am really glad I took u with,it was very interesting :)"
Me:"I am glad as well :)"
I got out of the truck and he helped me out with the backpack. As he was giving me it,holding with another hand the doors to close
"U know,u are the first person,with whom happened anything.And I am glad.":)
Me: "How do u mean it,havent happened anything? What had happen to whom?" But he already closed the door,waved me and used the hooter to say goodbye and he was driving away.
I stayed like we would say "as if someone would spill the hot water on me". Keep thinking what had happened with the others,who are the others and where they are now .... 

* Mata Atlantica
** When I was comming to the south I hit the state of Sao Paulo as well during the night - the coastal way. And as well comming to and from Santos it was just before sunset,so I havent seen much. The interior is not different than the interior of Goiais or Parana. Nothing special.
*** U know,sometimes I make photos of the people who I am driving with for many reasons,I took as well the picture of this person and he still scares the hell out of me when I look on the photo,even though it was taken in morning light ...


  1. So where is the picture of the guarani driver?

  2. In my albums of nonpublished fotographies :) And this one for sure will stay like that.
    I met a lot of wierd or dangerous people,who I took a photo of just for my safety.

  3. Wow! Zuzana, I loved reading this. I was one big eyeball. Hahaha. Amazing stories. I've hitched some in Argentina and Chile, but would never consider doing it in Brazil. You are one brave woman!!!!