Dear random people on the street who ask me for directions,

I’d really love to help you, but I can’t. Even if I’m three blocks from my own house and I know the area like the back of my hand, I still can’t. I’ll try my best, but by the time I’m done, you’ll be so confused you’ll forget where you were trying to go in the first place. I have a pretty good sense of direction – so long as I’m not sitting behind the wheel of a car. I rarely if ever get lost in a city. But somehow the spatial part of my brain cannot communicate with the verbal part. Attempts to bridge the two invariably send my brain into a tailspin.

I want to apologize to the lady who asked me for directions yesterday. I almost sent you the wrong way down a one-way street. Hopefully you would have seen the glaring red DO NOT ENTER signs anyway. Then I told you to turn right on a street that existed only in my imagination. I hope that you noticed the hospital – your destination – on your left before you came to that non-existent right-turn. It didn’t seem like you were propelled to the hospital by an emergency, but in any case, I hope you got there in a timely manner.

I would also like to apologize to the unfortunate soul who asked me for directions to the co-op yesterday. I could walk to the co-op blindfolded in my sleep. It is the main place where I shop for groceries. And yet I could not give you any help except for feebly pointing in a vague direction over my shoulder. It was your bad luck that I was the only pedestrian available to ask.

Since biking and walking are my main modes of transportation, I’m too often the only resort for people who need directions. I used to tell people apologetically that I wasn’t from the area, which was fairly true when I was going to school. I’m not sure if I can get away with that excuse anymore. I look forward to the day when everyone has GPS and asking strangers for directions is obsolete. Until then, let us hope that I will not lead too many more people astray.

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6 Responses to Dear random people on the street who ask me for directions,

  1. carlisa1 says:

    LMAO!!! You could’ve been like my cousin who works at a college and is entertained by giving new students wrong directions…Hahaha!

  2. Eleanor says:

    I always used to point in the general direction and suggest that they asked someone else when they got to the end of the road. I am terrible at giving directions and it takes me so long to think and reply, that even when I get it right, they probably wouldn’t believe me. I must look like I have no clue and I’m just making it up. 🙂

  3. I used to be hopeless at giving directions. I also used to point down the road and say, “Go there….” But with all the traveling I’ve done lately, I think more like a Google Map now. That’s been helpful, but I’m also somewhat dyslexic and get my right and left sides mixed up: I’ll tell people to turn right when I mean left and vice versa.

    I still haven’t gotten over my drivers’ license test back when I was 19 and the tester told me to make a right turn. I crossed three lanes of traffic and made a left hand turn. The poor man almost had a heart attack in my car.

    • littlemiao says:

      Ah, left and right… I remember the class in kindergarten where we learned left & right. We were supposed to color in paper mittens and label them, but I got distracted and only had time to color one mitten. Now I have to hold my hands out in front of me to see which makes the “L” for “left”.

      Did you pass that driver’s test?

      • Hee, I still do that too! I stick out my hands and say out loud, “L for left!” I’m sure people think I’m dotty when they see me waving my hands out in front of me.

        I did pass the test, but I think it was only because the tester wanted me out of there. He signed the test sheet, handed me a copy and leaped out of the car without a word. I won’t ever forget the scream he let out when I barreled out into the left lane, however….

Miao & Purr!

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