Shortly after New Year's Day, I'm standing on a foggy road, stretching out my arm. A nondescript blue, angular car passes, rumor has it the gas cap isn't quite tight. It slows down, a window drops down, "Hoi, I'm the Andy, want a ride?" "Howdy! For that price? I'd love to, but..." "Oh come on, the ride's free, at least almost. Get in..."
I'm cordially offered the passenger seat, I take a seat. On the strangely futuristic sat nav is some address in Morocco. "That's where we're going?", I ask, wondering if the little bit of gas I've filled up will be enough for the trip. "Somewhere in the Maghreb is where I usually drop off all the bores. They parrot everything I say anyway; if I told them it was going to the moon, they'd just smile and clap." He examines me insistently "For you I have another goal, another time. We're discovering a little part of you, a modicum of your memory." He types in the nav, a small button is pressed, the surroundings blur into glistening light. In the afternoon, individual contours become visible through the window, we slow down.... A city becomes visible, Cairo, we stop, at the edge of a busy street. I see myself as a child, on my father's shoulders. Watching with interest, questioning. We pass a souk, the dry afternoon heat beating down, a balmy breeze blowing out of it towards us. I can't smell it, because only Hitchhiker No2 would have taken me there - or so I think. Well, some other time. We walk out of town and Andy looks at me, "I've gotten you this far, only you can make the big leap in time." He gets in his car, honks the horn, and flies off toward the setting sun. What does he mean, I think, and turn around, lost in thought. I look to the northeast, and see...nothing. Where Cairo stood a moment ago, there is now only sand. The three great pyramids are suddenly white, smooth and magnificent. I see a few more scaffolds, not yet dismantled, and a magnificent barque behind the reeds of the Nile bank before the tops of the monuments hide the last golden rays. The little figures in white cloths, and their white houses on the shore, are swallowed up by the darkness in the distance. I sit down in the sand, still warm from the day's heat, and enjoy its comforting embrace. The wind begins to carry a variety of scents from the distance. Ethereal, almost humid, cool air sweeps around me from the direction of the Nile. Balmy smoke wafts to me from the pyramids and temples. All this while the warm sand, stones, and brittle wooden buildings cool creeping away, their warmth passing to me. I feel the age and power of my surroundings. Long before Alexander sets foot there; long before grain is shipped to a world city which still patiently awaits its founding; long before a certain Frenchman, greater than you think, challenges the Mamelukes. Long I sit there, losing my sense of time. Eons later, Ra rises his barque above the horizon, and as an ancient city awakens across the Nile, the shells of the beautiful pyramids crumble. The surroundings blur, and I'm back, the next morning, by the foggy road. Turn around, intoxicated, start walking, forgetting that I was supposed to be hitchhiking home. I guess I'll have to buy a blue car myself, but the satnav is permanently set to me by the factory - Luckily