Hitchhiking to Tübingen

Hitchhiking today was uneventful. I took the Munich subway to someplace near the autobahn, walked 30 minutes, waited 30 minutes, then got a ride to the edge of Stuttgart. The driver played guitar and the passenger was from Jordan. That’s all I found out about them. “Salemilecham,” I said. “Shokran.” “Afwan.” That’s the closest I can come to a phonetic transcript of our 3-word conversation in Arabic. They hunted around to find me a good spot without success, so I started walking, looking, ten minutes, but before I could find that good spot, a small delivery truck swerved over and gave me a ride to the edge of Tubingen, where I accosted a young couple for directions to the bus. He was an American studying here, and she had just flown in to make sure he went straight home at the end of the semester.

Next to a bridge near the Altstadt of this medieval college town sits the d.a.i. (Deutsch-Amerikanisches Institut).


It is here that I almost got a job. I had set up a meeting with the summer camp person, but she was ill, so I went straight to the director.

“We could use someone like you,” she said. “We’re expanding our English language courses to the business community.” She offered to help me with a work permit and to set up a sample class for next week, and stepped out to speak to the language coordinator.


Five minutes of glee and she was back to say that someone had just been hired. Back to the Schwarzes Schaf coffee shop in a student-heavy part of the Altstadt to commiserate with the cool and friendly barista.


At least I got to walk up to the Schloss. That was nice.


10 thoughts on “Hitchhiking to Tübingen

    • Crazy shit happens … like the time in New York state that a guy going into Harlem to make a drug deal picked me up so I could keep opening beers for him out of the ice chest in the back seat … but no, this was a respectfully rule-bound German guy with a Jordanian passenger.


  1. Schwarzes Schaf…eine entsprechende Moniker für unsere Wanderung Arzt.

    Sie waren Narren nicht, dass Sie sofort zu mieten!

    Make a heaven of hell, shipmate!


    • Thanks, Nele. I had two further nibbles — the Sprachzentrum RWTH Aachen wants to offer me a few ESL courses for October but they won’t know until Tuesday. University College Freiburg just emailed me to meet and talk. Freiburg is probably a better job — teaching real academic subjects in English — but whoever offers first can have me 🙂


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