*This post is pulled from one of my several blogs scattering around the Internet.*
Craigslist is a cyber cave where people tend to hide their identity.
It’s well-known for harmless things like apartment hunting, selling/ buying used furnitures, or giving away pets. In a much cuter way, folks go on craigslist with a hope to reconnect missed connections. On a darker side, scammers use craigslist to take advantages of naive Internet users. To steal money from people’s bank accounts and evaporate in the victim’s devastation.
In the past five years, I’ve had a fair share of stories from my craigslist’s experiences, which I can describe in one sentence: Craigslist is a deep ocean of fluffy unicorns, rainbow, chaos and darkness mixed together.
Today's story is about fluffy unicorns and singing angels from craigslist.
Our moving budget was roughly $500 with no car, no driver’s license or driving skill. Friends either live too far away to help with this eight-hour drive or on vacation. After exploring different moving options that would have cost about $1,000; I decided that craigslist would come to the rescue once again, while Schmoo was scared away by its sketchiness.
We received about 10 replies from the original post. It was truly hilarious when we said that we wouldn’t have more than $500 to spare, and most people came asking for $600+. Most except for one short email stated that money was not an issue, that the person just wanted to help us. His offer was simply too short and too good to be true.
After talking to the driver twice over the phone, we rented a U-Haul, loaded our boxes, worked on our emergency plan (in case we got murdered) and waited. Will showed up few minutes after 9 p.m. after driving a bit over 100 miles. We awkwardly stood on the sidewalk watching him hooked his car with his truck, then drove to the big apple. To be honest, we wouldn’t know what to do if he decided to bail.
Sometimes, when we pushed ourselves to overcome the barriers that we put up to keep people away, a stranger’s life story became sort of a wonderland. Land with exotic plants and animals that somehow feel strangely familiar. You know, like the Na’vi in Avatar.
Growing up in Florida, Will was fascinated by the Greyhound’s TV commercials where the bus took people anywhere. Will wanted to see things and go places. His wanderlust brought him to most states in the U.S., part of Europe, and South Korea. He wanted a freedom to see new things. And truck driving allowed Will to do that. Just him, his truck, and a few different routes that he explored while working.
We learned a great deal about the truck driving business. There used to be a brotherhood in the community. People were always willing to help each other out. Now, it all became: “So what’s in it for me?” Advertising almost changed a whole culture with the Me Me Me generation and their smartphones. And that did not just affect millennials. For Will, it was a hard fact that he had to accept.
Few hours into the drive, I started to feel more relaxed and Schmoo already dozed off.
Around 7 or 8 in the morning, we entered New Jersey - New York area. I didn’t sleep a bit last night, but the cold air and loud traffic noise were enough to keep me awake. The moment when I saw the Manhattan bridge, then the Brooklyn bridge in misty morning might be my best moment in New York City.
After helping us unload the boxes, we parted as Will drove the truck to drop it off in Long Island City. We officially made it to the city. Yet, more than anything I was happy that we were willing to put our trust in a stranger from craigslist. Like some people would say, faith in humanity restored.
And that, my friends, was the unicorn and rainbow side of craigslist.
Will, next time when you’re in town, call us, maybe? For the promised lunch that never happened.