El Asiento de Pasajero de la Generosidad de un Extraño

El mochileo es un impresionante intercambio entre extraños donde no hay una recompensa o servicio recíproco. A mí se sacaron de una gasolinera perdida en la autopista a cambio de mi mera presencia de un hasta entonces aburrido o solitario viaje.

Story by Caoimhe Ní Shúilleabháin. Translated by Leonardo Ismael Pérez Correa
Ireland, Western Europe
Published on March 25, 2021

Reading time: 4 minutes

This story is also available in GB



Cada vehículo tenía su propia esencia –su propio aroma, objetos personales repartidos como basura, un sonido propio, y una sensación. Al sentarme en el asiento de pasajero supe que estaba entrando en el espacio personal de este conductor en particular, su pequeño mundo. Casi siempre tomaba un momento acostumbrarnos a este nuevo arreglo, pero de forma muy humana, empezábamos a conectar con lo que fuese que tuviéramos al alcance. Algunos conductores empezaban con preguntas que acababan en derroches de curiosidad; otros dejaban largos silencios entrecortados por comentarios sobre el paisaje; otros ni siquiera necesitaban palabras, unas miradas aquí y allá, y asentir con la cabeza de vez en cuanto bastaba para todo el viaje. Yo me movía al ritmo que ellos determinaban, consiguiendo comodidad para mí de la comodidad de ellos. Todos se volvían familiares a su forma.

En mi primer año de Universidad, fui de mochileo por Europa dos veces. Desde la Haya, fuimos al sur (hacia Marsella) y al este (hacia Praga). Yo y otra joven pasamos por la vida de más de veinticinco extraños en un par de días. En la parte de delante de un camión que transportaba calabazas desde Granada hasta Praga, sentí la fuerza y paciencia del vínculo que compartían dos conductores Checos que se turnaban para manejar. Fui testigo de la dolorosa realidad de un amujer francesa-senegalesa a cuya pareja le fue denegado el acceso a Europa mientras ella misma no podía costearse el irse del continente. El camino interminable me dio espacio para entender lo que sus propias palabras significaban para ellos. Me absorbieron sus historias y las reacciones sinceras que lograban sacar de mí, lo que les daba la fuerza para contarme más. ¿Por qué no habrían de hacerlo? Después de todo, había un callado dato que todos sabíamos: jamás nos volveríamos a encontrar. La presión social y las expectativas ajenas se nos levantaron de encima, y su ausencia nos trajo gran alivio..

Luego de cada viajecillo, guardaba pedacito de conocimiento sobre la especie humana y sobre cómo nos hablamos entre nosotros. 

Muchos de los que nos recogían jamás habían llevado a mochileros antes, y nos informaban de esto con un tono nervioso en la voz. Nunca supe cómo les afectó su experiencia con nosotras después de separarnos. El mochileo es un impresionante intercambio entre extraños donde no hay una recompensa o servicio recíproco. A mí se sacaron de una gasolinera perdida en la autopista a cambio de mi mera presencia de un hasta entonces aburrido o solitario viaje. Más allá de eso, éramos libres de interpretar la experiencia como quisiéramos. Luego de cada viajecillo, guardaba un pedacito de conocimiento sobre la especie humana y sobre cómo nos hablamos entre nosotros. Mientras más personas conozco, más formas de hablar descubro. Esto es información crucial para la estudiante de política global que yo soy, porque generalmente, los políticos no son muy buenos en para hablarse entre ellos. La empatía es rechazada en favor de etiquetas polarizadoras y le generosidad es olvidada en favor de un egoísmo ciego. 

Viendo como el amanecer derramaba vida sobre un nuevo día mientras avanzaba dentro del camión de algún extraño, recordaba estas virtudes y me llenaba de un impactante amor por ellas. Entomces, reconocía el suspiro de los demás mientras florecía la mañana – era igual al mío. Bendita sea la generosidad, gracias a Dios por la empatía. Dejen que los políticos se sienten por horas en la carretera y que salten de alegría cuando un Hippie de izquierda o un campesino de derecha les ofrezca un asiento de pasajero.


How does this story make you feel?

Follow us on Social Media

Talk about this Story

Please enable cookies to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter

Stay up to date with new stories on Correspondents of the World by subscribing to our monthly newsletter:

* indicates required

Caoimhe Ní Shúilleabháin

Caoimhe Ní Shúilleabháin

Hello, I am Caoimhe. I’m an Irish student living in The Hague at the ripe old age of 21. I study Liberal Arts and Sciences and my major is World Politics with a focus on the Middle East. I’m interested in human rights, counterterrorism and gender-based violence and hope to someday work for an NGO or institution which tackles one or more of these diverse issues. To escape the stress of graduating with an arts degree in a post-apocalyptic 2021, I like to write or play rugby but most of all to dine and drink with friends. Love a bit of a boogie too.

Other Stories in Español

> DR of the Congo
Encontrar un Lenguaje Nuevo

A story by Salum Ndezi

La práctica es el arte de la ciencia.

> Read More


> Uganda
Contaminación del Aire en Kampala, Uganda

A story by Anna Adima

Si no se toma ninguna acción concreta, la capital de la Perla de África se volverá inutilizable en unas décadas.

> Read More


> Chile
División

A story by Yess

Vivir entre la Dictadura y la Democracia es luchar para un futuro mejor.

> Read More


Show all

Get involved

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

Share Your Story

Community Worldwide

Correspondents of the World is not just this website, but also a great community of people from all over the world. While face-to-face meetings are difficult at the moment, our Facebook Community Group is THE place to be to meet other people invested in Correspondents of the World. We are currently running a series of online-tea talks to get to know each other better.

Join Our Community

EXPLORE TOPIC Migration

> Iran
I Wish Home Was a Better Place to Live In

A story by Noosha

Immigration is difficult. Being away from family and friends, learning a new language and always being a second-class citizen (especially if you are from the Middle East). And if you get old, starting again from nothing.

> Read More

Or read it in de es kr

> Turkey
So Far No Matter How Close

A story by Merve Vardarli

Throughout years migration has become the epicenter of our lives. What does it mean to become an immigrant?

> Read More

Or read it in de kr

Fortunat Miarintsoa Andrianimanana
> Madagascar
Every Passport Has A Story

A story by Fortunat Miarintsoa Andrianimanana

Despite this huge unfairness, because nobody chooses a particular passport at birth, some people have to go through it.

> Read More

Or read it in de es tr

> South Korea
An Alien From the Same Planet

A story by Veronica Burgstaller

It has to be remembered that through all these moving places, I stayed the same person, I had my Austrian passport, I was half Austrian and half Indonesian: yet in Indonesia, I may have been an expat, in England an immigrant, in Korea - a constant struggle to become somewhat included. It is clear that the power as to who I am is not in my hands.

> Read More

Or read it in de kr tr

> Norway
Dialogue with Refugees in Norway

A story by Lene Mortensen

Anti-refugee politics is on the rise all over the world, but we can counter this trend by daring to ask questions and get to know those who are being spoken about.

> Read More

Or read it in de es tr

> Chile
Being a Migrant in Chile

A story by Juan Carlos Pérez Jerez

To be an immigrant in Chile means that you migrate all day, every day.

> Read More

Or read it in es

Global Issues Through Local Eyes

We are Correspondents of the World, an online platform where people from all over the world share their personal stories in relation to global development. We try to collect stories from people of all ages and genders, people with different social and religious backgrounds and people with all kinds of political opinions in order to get a fuller picture of what is going on behind the big news.

Our Correspondents

At Correspondents of the World we invite everyone to share their own story. This means we don't have professional writers or skilled interviewers. We believe that this approach offers a whole new perspective on topics we normally only read about in the news - if at all.

Share Your Story

Our Editors

We acknowledge that the stories we collect will necessarily be biased. But so is news. Believing in the power of the narrative, our growing team of awesome editors helps correspondents to make sure that their story is strictly about their personal experience - and let that speak for itself.

Become an Editor

Vision

At Correspondents of the World, we want to contribute to a better understanding of one another in a world that seems to get smaller by the day - but somehow neglects to bring people closer together as well. We think that one of the most frequent reasons for misunderstanding and unnecessarily heated debates is that we don't really understand how each of us is affected differently by global issues.

Our aim is to change that with every personal story we share.

View Our Full Vision & Mission Statement

Topics

We believe in quality over quantity. To start off with, we collect personal stories that relate to our correspondents' experiences with five global topics:

Environment

Discussions about the environment often center on grim, impersonal figures. Among the numbers and warnings, it is easy to forget that all of these statistics actually also affect us - in very different ways. We believe that in order to understand the immensity of environmental topics and global climate change, we need the personal stories of our correspondents.

Gender

Gender is the assumption of a "normal". Unmet expectations of what is normal are a world-wide cause for violence. We hope that the stories of our correspondents will help us to better understand the effects of global developments related to gender and sexuality, and to reveal outdated concepts that have been reinforced for centuries.

Migration

Our correspondents write about migration because it is a deeply personal topic that is often dehumanized. People quickly become foreigners, refugees - a "they". But: we have always been migrating, and we always will. For millions of different reasons. By sharing personal stories about migration, we hope to re-humanize this global topic.

Liberation

We want to support the demand for justice by spotlighting the personal stories of people who seek liberation in all its different forms. Our correspondents share their individual experiences in creating equality. We hope that for some this will be an encouragement to continue their own struggle against inequality and oppression - and for some an encouragement to get involved.

Corona Virus

2020 is a year different from others before - not least because of the Corona pandemic. The worldwide spread of a highly contagious virus is something that affects all of us in very different ways. To get a better picture of how the pandemic's plethora of explicit and implicit consequences influences our everyday life, we share lockdown stories from correspondents all over the world.

Get Involved

We believe that every single personal story contributes to a better understanding of the complex world we live in - and the people we share it with. That includes yours! We would be really happy if you would like to share your story, too, and join our community.

Share Your Story

Growing Fast

Although we started just over a year ago, Correspondents of the World has a quickly growing community of correspondents - and a dedicated team of editors, translators and country managers.

55

Correspondents

67

Stories

38

Countries

153

Translations

Contact

Correspondents of the World is as much a community as an online platform. Please feel free to contact us for whatever reason!

Message Us

Message on WhatsApp

Call Us

Joost: +31 6 30273938