Chapter 6 Technologies of Friendship
While conducting ethnography in the fall of 2009, I found a woman who put up an advertisement of mitfahrgelegenheit.de for a ride from Frankfurt to Brussels. I emailed her my request two days before our ride would take place, and she re- plied back, confirming my spot in the car. I didn’t check my email for one day, and once in Frankfurt, I sent a text message to the driver hours before our depar- ture, double-checking if everything was going smoothly. The driver replied that she gave my spot away to somebody else a few days ago. I was more than an- noyed. I had to be in Brussels that evening, and keeping up with my mission to rideshare, I had little choice – I could pay over 70 Euros to get to Brussels and walk to the nearest train station or become a hitchhiker and get in the first car that came along. I decided to hitchhike the 200km distance to Koln, and then open the laptop I was carrying with me and search OHWs once in Koln using a wireless network. I stood by the side of a gas station off-ramp waiting for someone to pick me up. I had no control, no choice over which car will offer me a ride. Within 10 minutes of waiting, one dodgy male construction worker took me 20 kilometres to a better spot on the highway towards Koln. Then, after another 10 minute wait, three 70-year-old retirees driving to Holland for a...
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