A Guide to Hitchhiking: 5) Wait for your Cousin to get back from the Pub

When I got into Christchurch I called up my cousin Tony to see if I could visit. Sure, he said, and gave me his address. I took a bus and walked the final part, arriving at the house where he was staying. I knocked on the door and they let me in. And what a great family! After several nights sleeping in Youth Hostels it was great to be welcomed by friendly people who had a reason to care about you.

Tony was off at his local pub and I thought it would be fun to catch up with him there. The family gave me directions to the pub but warned me it could be a little rough. I wandered off, leaving my backpack behind. I was dressed in the clothes I had hitched in, a flannel shirt, some dirty shorts and my old hiking boots. The route they suggested took me to the pub without incident. I wandered inside but couldn’t see my cousin, but this was no surprise since I hadn’t seen him in a few years. It was likely I didn’t recognize him. I went up to the bar and called the barman over.

“Is Tony Bisset here?” I asked.

“Nah, don’t know him,” he said.

“But this is his regular pub!” I protested.

“Sorry, mate.”

Hmm. Maybe he was a new barman and didn’t know Tony. The guy standing next to me looked like a regular customer. He was a large Maori, way taller than me, with arm tattoos and a beer.

“Have you seen Tony Bisset in here tonight?”

“Sorry, can’t help you,” said the big guy.

“He’s supposed to be here. I’m visiting him from Australia. I’m his cousin,” I said.

“Don’t know the guy.”

At this point I gave up and wandered back to Tony’s house. He was at home this time. As I was walking to the pub he had been walking a different route home.

“I asked for you but nobody knew you.” I told him.

“Who did you ask?” He said.

“The barman and a large Maori guy with tatts.” I said.

“Hika! My mate. You know what, I bet they thought you were a cop. That was a bit brave asking around like that. That’s a rough place. You could have got into trouble.”

I looked back at the visit to the pub and wondered what they were thinking when this Aussie kid was talking to them. I wondered what was going on that cops could be in the pub snooping around. It is a creepy feeling doing something brave but only finding out about it later.


2 Responses to “A Guide to Hitchhiking: 5) Wait for your Cousin to get back from the Pub”

  1. 1 Jean
    June 25, 2009 at 14:33

    Did you really do a long hitchhiking trip to your cousin’s and didn’t call to tell him until you arrived in town? that’s about as brave as the pub.

  2. July 3, 2009 at 14:13

    This was just a stop on the way. It gets worse. Wait until the post about getting to your destination.

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