The Secret Lives of Diaries

On The Road

Posted in Memories by secretlives on April 17, 2006


I remember a time when hitch hiking was safe and popular.  I did a lot of it in the sixties and early seventies.  And here is an experience which brought me to a hostel in Kamploops, British Columbia (BC), Canada where I spent several days.  I was 21 years old, and lost.

October 15, 1971

I have hitch hiked from Penticton [BC] to Kamloops [BC] in order that I may find a job.  Kamloops is a booming city, but jobs are hard to find.  I am not the only one who is in need of a job, for I am sleeping in a hostel which is packed with people searching for a job.  Most of them are from the east [Canada].

Most of the places I went to for a job told me that I had too much education.  Rather absurd I think.

They, the country, will never need the amount of people who have graduated from university.  We, those who have degrees, are a rejected lot.  We can't even get jobs which we intensely dislike.

October 16, 1971 

I have seen and read the stories of many people.  They all seem so sad.  I have met drunks, thieves, prostitutes, the lonely, the hypocrites, the bigots, the insane, the hustlers, the executives, the priests, the religious fanactics, the businessmen, the etc. and their story is all the same.  I see them all in me.

October 17, 1971

The peripatetics in this hostel are always on the verge of fighting.  Yesterday, in a period of three hours, I saw four fights.  Most of them have either ascended or descended beyond despair; a lot of them have lost their sense of dignity.

They are dirty, sick, homeless, broke, nervous, without purpose, loveless, mean and alone.  They cough, spit, wheeze, whine, vomit and crawl with lice and bed bugs.  What an ungainly lot.  Most of the time many of them are drunk.  But they have one thing that they seem to share – the sense that they are all the same.

If you have something, they want a part of it too.

October 21, 1971

Since I've not been able to find a job, I've decided to hitch hike out of Kamloops for Prince George [500 miles to the north].  I am going to help my parents prepare for the opening of their store.

When I look back on these entries I wonder…what on earth was I trying to prove: staying in a Salvation Army hostel for a week.  Oh yes…now I know.  It was all about proving my sense of independence; that I could do it on my own.  From the vantage of my fifty-sixth year I look back tenderly on that young boy.

Name: Giovanni
Age: 56


One Response to 'On The Road'

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  1. shasta said,

    “I look back tenderly on that young boy.”

    He was young, yes, and also wise. “..their story is all the same. I see them in me.”

    I suspect those hostel folks helped lay a foundation of character for the young boy who is now a mature man.

    Thanks for sharing.

    47 yrs old

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