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HITCHHIKING: Soliciting a ride by standing at the edge of a road, facing traffic, with one's thumb extended.

You can meet a lot of people and make lots of friends.
You can also become very frustrated, beaten, or raped; today's drivers are more fearful of picking up hitchhikers than in the past. But it's also a great feeling to get a ride after you've been waiting for a long time. People who do pick up hitchhikers tend to be very friendly. However, hitchhikers also risk being picked up by someone who is an unsafe driver or even personally dangerous.
Hitchhiking in itself is rarely illegal, but there are often rules about where you can do it (e.g. not on highways, near intersections, at bus stops), so read up on the rules first to avoid getting booked for "trespassing" or "obstructing traffic".