I had an interesting little pedestrian encounter yesterday afternoon. After leaving the bank, I turned onto a neighborhood street before turning onto a major road. As I pulled up to the stop sign, I noticed a pedestrian who seemed to be crossing the street. Nothing out of the ordinary. So being the courteous driver I am, I slowed to a stop so that he could cross in front of me. The man, replete with white hair, blue jeans, t-shirt, hat, and giant cup of soda, stopped. In the middle of the road. I stared at him. He stared at me. We then proceeded to nonverbally communicate with one another: I waved my hand and said, half out-loud, go ahead. He raised his head and said, probably out loud, "no you go ahead." Or it could have been "are you going this way". I should my head and repeated, again by pronouncing out loud approximately half the syllables in each word, "n(o) y(ou) (g)o!"
And finally, we seemed to understand one another. He crossed the remaining part of the street, and stood on the corner. I pulled up to the stop sign. I proceeded to turn, so that I might continue on my merry way. As I turned, I notice the man still staring at me. I stared back. He pointed again, in the direction I was going. I thought "uh, yeah, that's the way I'm going." And then he did this meager little thumb sign. Well, why didn't he just say he was hitchhiking?
And what did I do? I smiled and nodded and drove away, feeling probably as bewildered as he did. Though I bet I was the one less disappointed.