How to Hitchhike Across America: Season 1 (Part 5/5)

Uploaded by vice on 07.07.2012


DAVID CHOE: Day 14 on "Thumbs Up," our
cross-country adventure.
We're in the Big Easy.
We're in New Orleans.
Caught a ride late last night out of
Lake Providence, Louisiana.
We want to just--
I guess it's exactly one year after Katrina.
I'm sure you see this shit on the news all the time, but I
want to see it for myself, so we're going to walk over
there, check it out, and try to find a decent bowl of gumbo
and then get the fuck out of Dodge.

All right, we're here with Thomas.
DAVID CHOE: Thomas King?
He's from, uh-- where you from?
THOMAS KING: New Orleans.
I'm on Ninth Ward.
DAVID CHOE: Let's see.
Ninth Ward.
we're about to head over that way just to check it out.
You think two Asian guys will be all right walking around
the Ninth Ward?
THOMAS KING: Yeah, man.
I mean, y'all would be straight.
All y'all gotta do is, you know what I'm saying, keep
your head up and look for, you know, you gotta keep your eyes
open, you know what I'm saying? 'Cause ain't no
telling what might happen, you know what I'm saying?
Right now, like I said, it's hot and
everybody wants something.
Everybody hungry, ain't got no money, they hurting out here.
And they'll jack you quick, so you just got to be careful.
You know, just watch yourself.
DAVID CHOE: All right.
Hey, thank you so much for talking with us.
THOMAS KING: Oh, for sure.
Y'all be cool.
DAVID CHOE: All right.

So this is where the levee broke, and then all these
houses got blasted.
But I guess they fixed it now.

Everyone wants to come out to New Orleans to party.
And it's just sad.
Talked to a fellow today in the restroom while I was in
the bathroom, and he said the heart and soul of the city's
gone, and it'll never come back.
And now all the scavengers and pirates and--
it's the Wild West out here.
I can't believe this is America.

Hi, David.
TIARA: Hi, Tiara.
We're just traveling cross-country, and we just got
to New Orleans today.
And I mean, I mean, I'm pretty much--
I don't know what to say.
I can't believe it.
But you're-- you're from the Ninth Ward?
TIARA: No, I'm really from the Third Ward, but I stayed back
I just really came back here when my brother and my cousin
got shot in Houston.
DAVID CHOE: Your brother and your cousin are from here?
TIARA: Yeah.
DAVID CHOE: They went to Houston
after Katrina and they--
TIARA: Got into with them people out there, and they
killed them.
TIARA: I don't know the boy's name, but my brother's named
Vincent Williams and my cousin named Yolanda Stiles.
DAVID CHOE: And they both got shot?
TIARA: Yeah.
DAVID CHOE: And are--
are they OK? or--
TIARA: No, they passed.
They passed away.
DAVID CHOE: Oh my goodness.
So what's the situation now?
I mean, it looks like there's--
TIARA: It's really terrible out here.
It's terrible.
DAVID CHOE: I mean, what--
TIARA: It's bad.
It's not really fit for people to come back.
DAVID CHOE: So, so why did you?
TIARA: 'Cause my mama wanted to [INAUDIBLE]
'cause where we stay at, it's kind of
straight, and then it ain't.
DAVID CHOE: So roots is here, you stay here, home is here.
TIARA: Home is here.
DAVID CHOE: Even if it's bad like this?
HARRY KIM: Who are your neighbors?
TIARA: I don't really have neighbors.
I don't really have neighbors.
DAVID CHOE: So it's just you?
Just walking around the street by myself?
TIARA: Yeah, fixin' to go to the bus stop.

DAVID CHOE: We're up in the Third Ward.
We're gonna hang out with these guys.
So I'm Dave.
BLING BLING: I'm Bling Bling.
DAVID CHOE: Bling Bling?
This is Harry.
BLING BLING: Bling Bling.
DAVID CHOE: Tell us where we're at right now.
MALE SPEAKER: You on Josephine, heard me?
Uptown Josephine Third Ward, you heard, we
doing it big out here.
We got a little grill going, little [INAUDIBLE] on, little
food, you heard me?
This my dog Eddie right here, heard me?
DAVID CHOE: Is that the General?
The Third Ward General?
Oh oh.
DAVID CHOE: The General is cooking all kinds of goodness.
The General definitely takes care of his army.
They're fed well.
People are smiling.
Where are we?
This is the world?
THE GENERAL: Pretty much.
Out of all 50 states.
This state.
DAVID CHOE: Out of all 50 states, Louisiana, this is the
center of the world?
THE GENERAL: The center.
DAVID CHOE: This is the world.
THE GENERAL: This is the epitome.
DAVID CHOE: I'll tell you what, you're the most
hospitable, that's for sure.
THE GENERAL: I was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana.
I went to school with whites.
Asian, Indian.
Matters not the different.
The only thing my mother told me about any individual is
when that person hits you?
You hit that person back.
She never taught me about color.
Because they were all my friends.
DAVID CHOE: What you got in there, sausage?
THE GENERAL: Turkey necks and sausage.
DAVID CHOE: Turkey necks.
THE GENERAL: A little celery.
DAVID CHOE: Turkey necks.
That's delicious.

Josephine, Third Ward clique.
That's where we're at.
HARRY KIM: New Orleans.
DAVID CHOE: See you guys later.
Josephine Third Ward clique.
HARRY KIM: Uptown.
MALE SPEAKER: Uptown Josephine.
DAVID CHOE: Uptown Josephine.
HARRY KIM: Uptown.
DAVID CHOE: Third Ward.
HARRY KIM: Third Ward.
DAVID CHOE: Third Ward clique.
Third Ward.
Y'all be cool.
DAVID CHOE: Third Ward.
DAVID CHOE: By far the most at home I've felt
on this entire trip.
By far the best food I've had on this entire trip.
I'll always remember.
We'll always have a home here.
Take it all the way Miami.
Be there hopefully by tomorrow.
As the sun sets over the Big Easy, we head home.
And hopefully get to the Atlantic Ocean by tomorrow.

Pretty much had the most amazing experience
of the trip so far.
I can't believe how nice these people were and how delicious
the food was.
The sauce--
I don't know what was in there.
Spicy as fuck.
Got all the sinuses going.
But as the sun sets over New Orleans, we head, hopefully,
on our last leg of the race towards the east, and
hopefully soon, these mosquito bite-ridden, diseased,
sunburned toes will get to touch the Atlantic Ocean.


DAVID CHOE: Is it cool of we film the ride?
MALE SPEAKER: Film the ride?
How 'bout--
I said wait a minute.
DAVID CHOE: How about just a "fuck yeah, Miami."
MALE SPEAKER: Fucking right, Miami.
That's where y'all from?
MALE SPEAKER: Hey, Miami, I'm a coon-ass from the south,
from right now!
Fuck me, I'm on Medicare.
Hey, how you like me now.
You gotta be on Medicare if you don't drink and drive,
right, you guys--
DAVID CHOE: Oh, no, that's the American way, man.
MALE SPEAKER: That's right.
DAVID CHOE: That's the American way.
Every single person that--
MALE SPEAKER: All right, well I'm going to be St. Louis,
Where are y'all Americans are going?
DAVID CHOE: Everyone that picks us up is drinking and
they have broken windshields.
That's like, you have to pick us up.
Anything else you want to say?
Anything else you want to say.
MALE SPEAKER: Man, hope you all fucking best of luck, man.
DAVID CHOE: Thank you so much.
HARRY KIM: Thank you.
MALE SPEAKER: I'm going to hell if I don't pray.
Y'all coming with me?
DAVID CHOE: Thank you so much.
MALE SPEAKER: Hey, man, nobody ever fucking filmed me before
in my life.
DAVID CHOE: Well, anything you want to tell us?
Anything you want to say?
MALE SPEAKER: Hey babe, y'all be careful.
I love y'all--
DAVID CHOE: No, tell us something about yourself.
MALE SPEAKER: I'm crazy.
I'm going to work in the morning.
And that's the American way.
DAVID CHOE: Thank you so much, man.
HARRY KIM: Thank you.
MALE SPEAKER: Shit, I'd give you a ride anywheres y'all
want to go but it would my pocketbook.
I probably--
I got enough gas to make it to my job.
That's the American way, bro.
I'd seen y'all three poor motherfuckers on the side of
the road, seen y'all with a camera, said, wait a minute,
what the hell's going on?
DAVID CHOE: Well, thank you so much for the ride.
MALE SPEAKER: All right, bro.
DAVID CHOE: Go easy on that, and--
MALE SPEAKER: Oh, yeah, I'm going to my job right now.
DAVID CHOE: Hey, stick to soft porn and soft drugs.
Soft porn and soft drugs.
Stay off the hard stuff.
MALE SPEAKER: I just smoke weed.

DAVID CHOE: Barbecue!
Hell, yeah.
Let's take a look at this.
MALE SPEAKER: Hey, that's coon ass!
DAVID CHOE: What is this?
This is coon ass barbecue?
Oh my god!
HARRY KIM: Oh god!
Oh my god.
DAVID CHOE: Thank you.

You want a bite?
Take a bite.
Take a bite.
DAVID CHOE: Coon-ass American barbecue.
I love you, man.
I love you.
MALE SPEAKER: Y'all be careful.
DAVID CHOE: All right.
MALE SPEAKER: Let me get out of here.

DAVID CHOE: So here we are in Theodore, Alabama.
And I was in the Pilot getting a drink and taking a piss, and
I noticed this guy Jerry moping around.
And I noticed the jail tattoo, got a cross right here.
And the skulls--
the skulls, that's that?
Treasure chest.

Seahorse, that's hard-core.
Jerry just told me something very strange.
He said he's locked up.
He's in jail.
JERRY: In prison.
DAVID CHOE: But obviously he's not locked up 'cause he's here
talking to me, so what's--
JERRY: I'm on a-- we have a work release program in the
There's one in Mobile.
This is like the Mobile area.
And we get to come out and work during the day and at
night and stuff.
When we get paid, they get all our money.
It really sucks.
DAVID CHOE: And then you gotta go back to jail.
JERRY: Yeah, I gotta go back tonight.
DAVID CHOE: So if you don't mind me asking,
what was the crime?
JERRY: Yeah, too many.
You get four DUIs, it's a felony.
DAVID CHOE: Wow, you like to drink.
JERRY: Yeah, I like to drink.
DAVID CHOE: How was-- so prison doesn't seem that bad.
Is it horrible?
JERRY: Well, until you get to where I'm at,
it's kind of horrible.
I've been locked up for three years.
JERRY: Yeah.
DAVID CHOE: What are you not telling me, Jerry.
JERRY: Oh, I mean for real.
DAVID CHOE: Three years for DUI?
Then you really like to drink.
JERRY: I got a 10-year sentence for DUI.
10 years.
Don't drink and drive.
What is the biggest problem day to day that you face while
you're in prison?
JERRY: Money.
JERRY: Yeah.
They take all your money.
DAVID CHOE: So you work here.
JERRY: And they get it.
DAVID CHOE: And they take 90% of it?
JERRY: 40% and then 25% for restitution.
DAVID CHOE: So you get like a dollar an hour.
JERRY: I get like, let's see, $30 out of $100, maybe.
HARRY KIM: Fuuuuck.
DAVID CHOE: Well, did you learn you lesson?
JERRY: Oh, yeah, I've learnt my lesson, no doubt.
DAVID CHOE: Can I buy you a drink right now?
JERRY: I'm fine.
No more drinking.
HARRY KIM: Not even on your time off?
JERRY: Not even on my time off.
DAVID CHOE: I totally don't believe you, but all right.
All right.
So let's talk--
we're drifters.
We're on the road.
We're hitch-hiking.
DAVID CHOE: Let's make a run for it.
DAVID CHOE: Come on, man.
JERRY: That's escape.
DAVID CHOE: Yeah, you got seven more years.
Fuck this, man, let's go to Miami.
JERRY: No, let's don't do that.
DAVID CHOE: Let's go to Florida, man.
JERRY: Let's don't do that.
DAVID CHOE: All right, Jerry.
You're no fun.
Let's escape.
Come on, man.
DAVID CHOE: Let's get the fuck out of here, man.
JERRY: I got to get back to work, man.
Nice meeting you.
DAVID CHOE: Fuck work, man.
C'mon, Jerry.
Let's get out of here.
JERRY: I can't do it.
Good luck.
DAVID CHOE: We're here in Alabama at the dog park.
We're only gonna be through Alabama 'cause it's this big,
where we're going through, the 10.
Theodore, Alabama.
The dog races.
Santa's little helper.
It's fucking on.
I'm ready for my trifecta.

Today's is day 15 on our journey.
We're somewhere in the panhandle of Florida.
We're trying to get to Miami, and look at what we found.
Fellow drifter, fellow train-hopper.
FREDDY: Right.
DAVID CHOE: Used to jump the train all the time?
FREDDY: All the time.
DAVID CHOE: So during all your years of train-hopping, what's
the craziest thing you ever seen.
I seen sexual acts on the train.
I seen-- oh, man.
DAVID CHOE: What--what did you see on the train?
You saw--
FREDDY: Oh, I seen a lady give a man a blow job
FREDDY: On the train, the train ran along.
I seen 'em cooking on the train.
They have their pots and stuff for cooking.
FREDDY: You sees a lot of wild stuff on a train.
DAVID CHOE: But you haven't done it in a while?
I ain't in shape--
I'm a old man now.
I ain't quite the shape I used to be.
DAVID CHOE: How was that blow job, though?
FREDDY: It wasn't on me, but I'll say, I'll say
it aroused me, huh?
I was sitting there listening, I'm listening,
you know what I mean?
It ain't embarrassing.
I'm sitting their listening--
DAVID CHOE: Hey, man.
If you're hopping trains and there's people getting blow
jobs, wouldn't you want to hop the trains all the time?
Not really.
DAVID CHOE: Hey, what do you do--
last question.
What do you do when you're, you know, you're on the train
and you gotta do number two?
FREDDY: Boo-boo there and throw it out the door.
DAVID CHOE: You boo-boo there, and you throw it out the door.
Throw it out the door.
Thanks, Freddy.
FREDDY: Yeah, man.
DAVID CHOE: Wish us luck.
FREDDY: I wish y'all luck, man.

All right, Florida.

It's a lonely road.
So we just got a ride in, uh--
I have no idea where we are.
Somewhere in the panhandle of Florida.
And the trains are very sporadic, so we might just
hitchhike to Miami.
If we could catch a train, that'd be great, but if not
we'll just thumb it out.
Thumbs up, America.
Fucking love you.

MIKE: Hey.
DAVID CHOE: What's your name?
MIKE: Mike.
DAVID CHOE: Mike, I'm David.
This is Harry.
We're just going cross-country.
This is our 15th day.
We came all the way from LA.
We're hopefully going to hit Miami tonight.
We're tired, dirty.
MIKE: 15 days, you just come from LA?
DAVID CHOE: Yeah, hitchhiking, hopping the trains.
So we're tired, dirty.
You know.
MIKE: You look like you can use a couple shirts.
DAVID CHOE: I mean, I don't--
if you got it, that would be great.
We smell really bad, but I don't want to trouble you.
MIKE: Yeah, man.
Here, let me give you something.
DAVID CHOE: Are you serious?
MIKE: Yeah, hang on.
Here, he's one.
You like pink?
DAVID CHOE: Hey, we'll take whatever.
MIKE: There you go, there's one there.
DAVID CHOE: Oh, thanks, Mike.
HARRY KIM: Thanks a lot, Mike.
DAVID CHOE: Take care.
Thanks for the ride.
You want pink or orange?
HARRY KIM: I'll wear the pink one.
DAVID CHOE: All right.
Thank you.

I guess one size definitely fits all.

Best shirts ever.
HARRY KIM: I guess we'll sleep warm tonight.

DAVID CHOE: Oh my god.
Oh my goodness gracious.

We're definitely, definitely going to get rides in these.
HARRY KIM: Huaahhh.
DAVID CHOE: I don't know if they'll be the rides that we
want, but we'll definitely get rides in these.
DAVID CHOE: Thumbs up, America.
We love cats and flowers and butterflies.

DAVID CHOE: So we just got dropped off by Mike, and then
this bus pulled up right behind us
with a bunch of workers.
I don't know where they're going to work, but they just
stopped and a bunch of them got off to use the restroom.
And Jacinto, our cameraman that is very fluent in
Spanish, asked them if we could have a
ride and he said yes.
And now we're on the bus.


I'm not sure exactly what happened, but somewhere in the
panhandle of Florida, we got on a bus and I think we're
somewhere near Miami.
We got on a bus that was predominantly farm workers.
They're tomato farmers.
And the boss said if we worked for free he might give us a
ride closer in to town.
So off to make salsa.
Thumbs up, America.

We made it.
We're in Miami.
We went from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

Well, America, we did it.
Here we are in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean on Day 16 as
the sun comes up.
But I gotta tell you, boy, do I got a lot of words for you.
I mean, I have a lot of--
I got a lot of mixed emotions right now.
America, you're like the bossy know-it-all, you're like the
kid I want to beat up.
You're like--
I want to like--
you're like the half-sister that I want to fuck, or the
actual sister that I want to fuck.
You're like, you're like my ex-girlfriend that I want to
duct-tape and shit on her chest.
But like I fucking love you and I hate you and I want to
like slap you and I want to dry-ass-rape you, but then I
want to like pet you and cuddle with you and like dry
hump you and like cuddle with you and spoon you and hold
hands with you.
I love you and I hate you and I have very mixed feelings
toward you, but I feel like I'm gonna cry right now
because it has been one of the most amazing American
adventures ever.
Every day I woke up, I had no idea what was going to happen,
and it was just--
the people are so crazy and so diverse and so--
the good, the bad and the ugly, it's all American.
And I'm really sad 'cause I'm gonna be home soon, and it's
gonna be, like--
16 days to trek across this country, through land, ocean,
lakes, rivers, cars, trains, automobiles.
And then we're just going to fly back in five hours, and
tomorrow morning I'm gonna wake up.
I know exactly what I'm gonna eat for breakfast.
And it's just going to be like hitting a brick wall.
But America, Dave and Harry are on the road.
We're here, we're there, we're everywhere.
Who knows where you'll see us next.
HARRY KIM: The romance is back, America.
DAVID CHOE: We love you.
HARRY KIM: We love you.
DAVID CHOE: No matter how many harsh things you said to us
and no matter how many bad things we've said to you, in
the end, we forgive.
HARRY KIM: We love.
we love.
We're full of so much love.
We forgive.
We forget.
And it's-- tomorrow we go to sleep and we wake up and it's
just a whole new day.
HARRY KIM: Au revoir.
DAVID CHOE: Thumbs up, America.
We love you.