Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting lost

Slept over at cousin N.'s place last night after KTV 'cause she was too drunk to get herself home and so I took the bus back this morning. Well, I walked more than I bussed, but read on for the details... I woke up at 6:30am and couldn't fall back to sleep, even though we didn't get to bed until 4am, so I got up at 7am and left. I knew where I needed to catch the bus so I walked there (as opposed to taking another bus to connect to it) 'cause I felt like going for a long walk.
I wasn't really counting the stops when I was on the bus so I ended up getting off a stop early. I thought I knew exactly where I was when I got off so I started walking.
I wasn't really looking for the next bus stop to verify my whereabouts since I was so sure of myself so I cut through a side road.
40 minutes later, I did not recognize any of the street names so I finally asked someone where I was. I ended up closer to 101 than the apartment. Yikes. I must've wanted to get lost to not have asked directions earlier when I didn't recognize anything... which I'm glad I did 'cause it was nice to just be in my own head and not think about needing to be anywhere or having to do anything except walk. Walk, walk, walk. At one point I thought I knew where I was 'cause I saw a 7-Eleven by a bridge (there's one near the bridge near the apartment) BUT that was a big mistake. I'm pretty sure it was that 7-Eleven that led me way off course =p So note-to-self: do not ever use ANY 7-Eleven as a reference landmark when navigating through Taipei. I was more amused than anything with how lost I got though =)

After asking 2 people for directions, I was marginally closer to my target. Direction-person #2 said the roads are diagonal and weird in the area and thus advised me to ask for more directions a block away, so I stopped at a Hi-Life along the way. When I walked in, there were a couple people at the counter in line so I just stood back to wait for them to clear away before asking the clerk for directions. But one of the people who I thought was in line (let's call him newspaper-man) let me go first. He overheard me asking for directions and the clerk plus this newspaper-man were telling me I was "very far" from where I wanted to be. I was sad for a second but then I asked them to clarify what "very far" meant in terms of walking and they said 30 minutes. -_- I think peoples' concept of "very far" is skewed here 'cause everyone is in such a rush all the time. More on that later.. So anyway, newspaper man had a car & offered to give me a ride to my destination. He seemed nice and the store clerks vouched for him, claiming he's a regular there so away we went. His English wasn't bad for a local. We chatted about his family in SoCal and how he planned to move to Hacienda Heights in 8 years after his daughter has solid Mandarin language skills. It was literally a 2 minute drive before we arrived at the 7-Eleven+bridge that I recognized. This time I was 110% sure it was the correct 7-Eleven, though =p So he dropped me off, I thanked him, and I was on my way home... finally.

Sigh. It was an early-morning adventure.

Oh, so yeah, concept of walking time is very off here. Maybe it's 'cause Ft. Mac has trained me to think it's OK to walk 20-30 minute to a bus stop? But so I walked ~1.5 km to the bus stop and when I told my aunt, she thought it was the most incredible feat.

I just mapped out where I got lost and jeesh... if I had a map, I could've gotten back in a 20-30 minute walk. After walking all that distance, I feel like I could walk all the way to 101! Gawd, people here think that's far? pshhh...

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