It's Metafilter's 20th anniversary! To celebrate, scan some cats or help fund Mefi! What is the origin of the hitchhiker's thumb?
You recently completed a full lap around Australia. Was that solely by hitchhiking? No, I did cheat for one section.
However, a study found that Of those subjects, In that study,
Another car blows by. I drop my arm and fold in my thumb. The driver didn't even look at me. He was staring down the road as though he saw something so interesting out there he couldn't take his eyes off it.
Usually we use thumb up to inform other drivers that we are hitchhiking. But in some cultures this gesture is highly offensive, so if you don't know it, you risk to be killed by furious driver you just insulted. You better read up on hitchhiking gestures first.
That became completely different when we entered Turkey. We took our time in this country, almost nine full months — yep, almost as long as a pregnancy. This allowed us to really immerse ourselves in the culture and experience life on a daily basis.
Hitchhiking also known as thumbing or hitching is a means of transportation that is gained by asking individuals, usually strangers, for a ride in their automobile or other vehicle. A ride is usually, but not always, free. Itinerants have also used hitchhiking as a primary mode of travel for the better part of the last century, and continue to do so today. Hitchhikers use a variety of signals to indicate they need a ride.
My first ever lift was an older Polish lady who drove me nearly fifty miles out of her way to drop me near the coast where I caught a ride on a boat headed to France. Sensing, perhaps, that I was a little uneasy, she talked none-stop. She told me about how she used to hitchhike a lot as a girl in Poland but had not seen anybody trying to hitchhike before in England.