So on my days off from Cardys I still tried to get up the mountain to ride. I didn’t have a car myself, so I would go to the hitching post where the road leads out of town toward Cardrona. After about 10 minutes or so, I get picked up by a guy and girl, and as is standard procedure we all get to talking about where everyone came from, what they’re doing, if they have a job in town, etc. etc. As I’m talking to the guy, I start to realize our stories are very similar. He is American from Boston, we both got to NZ around similar times, and he lived up in the Northland before making his way down to Wanaka for the ski season as well. I ask where in the Northland he lived and he says Piha.
Then I say “Oh, when I was first traveling I ended up in Piha for a night and couldn’t find anywhere to stay so I stayed at this random surf shop/farm place….and I met these guys from America who were WFFOfing there, and I’m pretty sure I actually remember they said they were from Boston, and oh my gosh if you tell me that is you I am going to be so freaked out!”
Of all the cars that drive by, of all the days he decided to pick up a hitchhiker and that I happen to be off work, of all the chances that I happened to be trying to catch a ride at that particular time, it it just so crazy to me that it would turn out to be Mike. It’s no surprise I didn’t recognize him because I am absolutely terrible with not just names but faces as well.
But this gets weirder. So after the initial shock, I’m wondering where the girl in the passenger seat comes into play because I only remember five guys at the farm, so I ask who he was traveling with, and if the other guys had come down to Wanaka as well. He then informs me that he was with one other guy who got a job at Cardys. I’m like no way, what department. Oh, you guessed it, lifts. Turns out Josh and I had been working together for two weeks at this point and neither of us had realized who the other one was.