I Got Lost Today

Nothing too terribly exciting or crazy, but I’d thought I’d let you all know that my sense of direction, while usually astute and useful, can still fail miserably from time to time. This morning was one of those times.

I made a Dr. appointment for this morning at a hospital pretty far away from my home-base, in an area of town I’d not yet seen. (Don’t worry, nothing’s wrong with me – just routine stuff. The salve should clear it right up.) Last night, I stayed at a friend’s house – went out with him last night, his place is a bit closer to the hospital, so it made sense just to stay up there. So anyway, I looked at Google maps this morning before I left, wrote out the pertinent directions on my hand, and away I went. I actually made it to the hospital on time without any issues. (Registering with the hospital is another story – again, that language barrier is a bitch. But I digress…) I left the hospital around 10:45. Keep in mind, Kaohsiung is not that big of a city, size-wise. You can get from one end of town to the other in 20 or 25 minutes.

Now, in addition to looking at how to get to the hospital from my friend’s house, I swear I did also look at the best way to get back to the hostel, too. So as I said, I left the hospital at 10:45 a confident young man. But, uhh… something went awry at some point. Wrong turns, bad memory, Google maps is never to be trusted… I can’t tell you what exactly happened, but I can tell you that by the time I finally pulled over and whipped out a map and showed it to the kind lady running the petrol station, I was off of it. Off the map. Oops.

Now, in my defense, it’s hard enough figuring out a brand new city’s layout, with new road names; it’s a bit harder when those road names are English translations of Chinese words and they all seem somewhat similar; but a whole new level of impossibility arrives when the roads you’re driving down are only marked in Chinese. (Of course, maybe that should have been a sign – when they stop translating the road names into English, you may be slightly off course.) Yes, so, in other words, I was trying to make my way home based solely on the position of the sun, my vague recollection of an online map service that may or may not be crap, and faith.

Here, laugh at my foolishness:

Map - Lost

And so you can understand:

  • A = Where I live (the hostel)
  • B = Where I stayed last night
  • C = Where the hospital is
  • D = Where I somehow ended up today  (And yes, for you astute observers, D is farther east than the last outpost of the East/West MRT stop. It wasn’t good.)

I ended up getting home at noon, sweaty, tired, and a bit less confident.

But I will tell you this. I have no fear on my little deathcycle anymore. Once you’ve been driving on a road that’s under construction, truck exhaust in your eyes, squeezing between a semi and the guardrail at 50 mph, a basic left turn seems alright.

I do miss listening to music or the Ticket or NPR while I drive though. Maybe that’s what kept me from wandering off into neighboring counties all these years.

Pray for me.

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~ by Nick on July 30, 2009.

3 Responses to “I Got Lost Today”

  1. I probably would have started by returning to where I stayed last night.

  2. That map looks like someone dropped some noodles and called it a city.

  3. So there are places that are more confusing than the toll system in Pflugerville…. good to know!

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