We’re standing on the side of a highway in Budapest, trying to hitch a ride.
Both ensembles are looking a little threadbare and with good reason: We’ve worn them every day since we left the Houston airport nearly three weeks ago.
This is not your average Ok Cupid date.“Should we start walking? Hungarian drivers are passing us by with expressions of bewilderment, and we’re determined to get to Sarajevo by nightfall.
So, after an hour of no takers, we decide to test the gods by beginning the 350-mile journey on foot.
We make it about 10 steps before a Good Samaritan in a rusty red Peugeot takes mercy on us and pulls off the highway.
He plays a game of Tetris with the 15 strawberry crates in his trunk, eventually resulting in two narrow canyons of space, just big enough for our bodies.
He waves to us and we gratefully wedge ourselves in, only to find him looking at us with a furrowed brow.He appears to be hosting an internal wrestling match with the English lexicon. ”This is Jeff’s favorite question and his reply is delivered with practiced flair. ”My grasp on good, old-fashioned reality is not terribly robust.I wouldn’t be surprised to wake up inside a Salvador Dalí painting or an interplanetary episode of “Doctor Who.” Yet, despite my surrealist leanings, even I was a bit startled to find myself hurtling toward the Croatian border with no bags, no change of clothes and no clue what was going to happen next.What bizarre chain of events had led to this scenario? The warning indicators were flashing red-alert red from the moment I saw the oversize Mexican mariachi bow tie in his Ok Cupid profile picture three months ago. On the surface, we appeared to be sure candidates for “World’s Most Unlikely Pair.” He’s a wildly energetic university professor who is always on the move.I’m a reclusive writer who spends hours identifying new constellations in the ceiling paint.He can strike an insta-friendship with any human not in a coma.