April 25th, 2011
Location: The Bulldog
Time: 8:10 pm
I have discovered that I have a special skill. Despite never liking the game, I apparently have a knack for Minesweeper – or so my real life seems to suggest. If you’ve read any of this blog before, you’ll know that I have a tendency to get lost. But it’s never this mind-boggling, how did I end up on the opposite side of town? lost. I think it might be a little more frustrating than that. Because if you’re going to get lost, you may as well get good and lost and in the process discover a new piece of road or a funky hole in the wall you otherwise never would have stumbled upon.
My kind of lost is all those little flags round about the bomb without ever actually quite hitting it.
Last Thursday I was on my way to work and engrossed in a rousing game of Sudoku I missed my usual Metro stop and so I decided to carry on to another station 3 stops away. Although I’d never taken this route, I knew that I could take Bus 759 and reach my destination with time to spare.
Alighting from the train and seeking an information sign, I discovered which exit would take me to my bus stop. After descending the stairs I encountered a huge blue sign that said some stuff in Chinese and featured a bold, white “759” and an arrow pointing to the left. Despite there being a bus terminus directly in front of me, I trusted my infallible logic that those numbers probably represented my bus.
So, I turned left.
A little down the way I saw another sign indicating that I should cross the street. And then, I’m almost next to positive another sign told me to cross another road and continue left.
I have to say almost positive, but now I’m pretty sure I was just entirely confused or seeing things. As it is, I went left and ventured off into the hinterlands of Minhang. At about 5 minutes in I figured I probably should turn around but I kind-of have this thing about retracing my steps. I hate doing it. It makes me look like a total idiot who doesn’t know her way around. Never mind the fact that continuing on when you know you’re going the wrong direction is even more ridiculous and inane. Pride leaves room for naught else. And I needed stuff to write about anyway.
So, there I was in the middle of God knows where – some neighborhood where I was getting a lot of inquisitive glances. At this point, class was slated to start in 10 minutes. I resigned myself to ridicule and called Rosa, having to shout a good three times over the traffic that I was lost.
Oh. The. Shame.
She directed me to our school’s administrator and after a couple of text messages and phone calls, I was told that those weird orange taxis were legitimate and I could take one – this was heartening news since those were the only taxis I could see. Apparently, they don’t leave the district and basically have the Minhang market cornered.
After I hailed one of those suckers down and climbed aboard I settled in to watch the passing scenery. Two minutes into our journey, we rounded a corner and I realized we were on Lianhua Lu – blocks from the school. Seriously, I could have walked there.
I paid the good man, ran inside and met my patiently waiting student.
The lesson topic? How to apologize properly. The example? Being late.
Oh. The. Shame.