Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I need a GPS to find my own feet

You know how some people can get to an unfamiliar city, glance around, and say, "Ok, so that's North-- we need to head kind of that direction to get to the concert hall."? And then they'll walk a couple of miles, turn fifteen corners, and arrive exactly there?

For that matter, you know how some people can get around in a city they've lived in for years, relying on neither a map nor a GPS?

I'm not that person. I have no internal compass to speak of, can get lost on a routine errand, and credit a combination of my GPS and Google Maps with my ability to find my own feet.

Last week, I visited Montana, and spent all of my time in a town that I have practically grown up in-- I've been there almost every summer and Christmas my whole life, and have probably spent more time there than some places I've actually lived (lookin' at you, Colorado!).

But can I find the grocery store? The coffee shop? My own grandmother's house? Nope. Absolutely not. Once I get off of the 90, I might as well be somewhere entirely new. (Well, actually, I finally learned how to find the coffee shop and grocery store on this trip. Thank god.)

You see, most people have internal maps that look like this:

I will take the exact same image, and by the time it gets to my brain, it looks like this:

I wish I was kidding.

You may be wondering if there is ANY exception to this rule. Can I find my way around tiny towns? Places I currently live? The home towns of longtime friends?


The only-- only-- city I have ever been able to navigate without specific instructions?


Go figure.

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