The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

05 March 2010

Off the map

I had an appointment to keep last night, which pulled me out of my warm and cozy family and my warm and cozy flannels, and thrust me out into the cold world of other people. Being the prepared sort I am, I double checked the directions and was ready to go once the Peanuts returned from swim lessons. I planned to arrive early, in part because I dislike being late (and if I'm not five minutes early, I'm late) and in part because there is a good magazine shop nearby and I wanted to browse the new issues of my glossy addictions.

Everything went well, to begin with, until I approached The Big City and noticed a long line of red lights ahead of me on the highway - something I've not seen since leaving The Last Place where the local NHL team was responsible for tying up traffic both east and west once a week during the season. This turned out to be a simple road closure, which promised an interesting evening.

Let me exlain that I used to have a good sense of where I am, and where I want to go. I've since had to revise that: I'm good with direction when the place I live in is right-side up. SOHOE, I'm sorry to say, is not even simply upside down, it is tilted slightly to the right (east) and pulled out of shape like taffy. It doesn't help that the map I bought has little squares of the area on separated pages, and none of it connects together like in a proper map. But I digress.

I've done a fair bit of exploring since moving here, but that has consisted entirely of sitting in the back seat while someone else does the driving. So while I can tell you that the trees are beautiful, and the hills remind me of Germany, I couldn't tell you where they were. I also don't know where to get refills for my favourite pen, if anyone does a good Linzer Torte in town, or where on earth to get my hair cut. (Not the time to rant about that, Tess!) And of great importance to my family of Peanuts, which parish will be our home? But again, I digress.

There was a detour sign off the highway, which was very helpful, because I would have been confused otherwise: do I get off here or...oh, wait, this is the only option, considering the police have blocked the highway ahead! Thank goodness for the sign. It was the only sign I saw for the rest of the night as I wandered the dark streets of an unfamiliar city in an unfamiliar car. If I have one complaint of SOHOE it is the extremely poor road signage. If there is an actual street sign, it is going to be very small, and its anyone's guess which corner of the road it will be on - which fact did not make my wanderings any more enjoyable last night. I almost ended up at home again, and a little later I did end up exactly where I got off the highway. By that point I was not well pleased with the city planners who have a very slipshod philosophy of signage. Enough said about that.

I did eventually arrive at my destination so the story has a happy ending, but tonight, I think I'll stick with my fam and flan and leave the adventuring for someone else.

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