21N - The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Reunion

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Would you let a complete stranger into your car? I do it regularly, and picking up hitchhikers has allowed me to meet some very interesting people. 


My first year in Reunion, I didn't have a car and I remember how frustrating and difficult it was. Now, I always try to stop if I see someone with their thumb up on the side of the road.


There was the retired hotel manager who told me about his invention. He'd designed an eco-friendly car part that would allow cars to run on sea water rather than petrol.


And once there were two teenage girls who I picked up just as my young son was getting tired and grumpy in the back seat. All three of us ended up singing a mix of English, Créole and French songs for the entire ride to St Denis until my son feel asleep.


One of the first times I ever picked up a hitchhiker, we ended up having a fascinating discussion about world politics, green versus red hot chillies, and which English accent is the most difficult to understand (to be diplomatic, I won't say which one we decided on).


After dropping the man off at his destination, I realised I'd just spend half an hour chatting to one of Reunion’s most famous Maloya artists. I can't wait to see which interesting person I meet next on the side of the road!


Hitchhiker - Autostoppeur

Thumb - Pouce

Retired - A la retraite

Eco-friendly - Ecologique

Part - pièce détachée

To run - Faire fonctionner

Rather than - plutôt que

Teenage - Adolescent

Pick up - Recouperez

Grumpy - Grognon

Chilli - Piment

To drop off - Déposer

To realise - Se rendre compte