Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Driving Directions

Have I mentioned that I don’t have a very smart phone? I mean, not only do I not have a smart phone, I have a very, very dumb phone. It has a camera but I’ve never used it and there may be a way to connect to the internet on it but I’ve never paid for that and so haven’t used that either. All this has never bothered me. My phone, which gets dropped 4 or 5 times a day, smudged with jelly or syrup at least once a day, and slobbered on constantly, has proven to be virtually indestructible, which is all I really want out of my phone.

Or, it was all I really wanted out of my phone, until now. And I don’t actually want more out of my phone now, but this has been the answer of everyone to a question I keep asking, which is “how do get to such and such?” And, uniformly, everyone stares at me quizzically and asks “can’t you use your phone?” When I explain my phone situation and ask again, to a man or woman they reply, “well, you should just get GPS.” Notice that at no point does anyone actually give me any directions to anywhere at all. This keeps happening over and over and over again here and it was starting to drive me CRAZY. So I did what any sensible woman in my position would do:

I bought a map.

A quite detailed, spiral-bound atlas, actually, of Northeast Ohio. I am my father’s daughter through and through, it appears. When I want to find out where to go, I look at a map, the lowest tech solution to my problem. My atlas has already helped me many times. I have finally figured out where my suburb is in relation to everything else. I have figured out the quickest ways on and off the nearest highways. I have plotted how to get to the nearest shopping centers and cheapest grocery stores (I hope). I have endeavored to figure out the major intersections near my apartment where traffic traveling in 6 (!) directions converges. I have driven to church and back. I now carry my atlas with me at all times.

It’s not foolproof, of course. Yesterday, I somehow ended up in “the flats,” when I meant to be downtown, the flats being a warren of seedy low-lying streets under a bunch of underpasses by the river that were not on our very detailed maps (which river? Good question. Must check.) where we drove in circles for 20 minutes before retracing our steps and getting out. But, we did make it out eventually, and Baby E was asleep in the car anyway, so it was a little adventure for J to see all the dump trucks (for dumping the bodies, I’d imagine) and abandoned lots down there in the flats, so not a total loss, huh?

1 comment:

fronesis said...

Rebecca and I were just saying the other day how it won't be long before people are incapable of giving directions. It's just not a skill that anyone will practice.