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.
Ireland, Western Europe

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

This story is also available in GB fr it



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.


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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.

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