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January 2008

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I’m standing on the access road to a German motorway, close to the Polish border. I crossed over about an hour ago by train and a fellow passenger offered to drop me off. It’s absolutely freezing and I reflect on how I’ve misjudged the sting of an early October, Central European winter. Cars are speeding past me and I vaguely recall being told by someone that in Germany hitch-hikers don’t often get lifts. I also realise that I won’t be able to stand around in these low temperatures for much longer! Another car speeds past and deep in thought, I don’t realise that it has stopped about 200m down the road. Until I hear the parp, parp, paaaarp of its hooter. I grab my overweight backpack and run as fast as my stiff legs will carry me. The possibility of the car driving off as soon as I approach is…