A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

On being directionally challenged..

Posted by Pepper on March 29, 2011

I was out for a walk today, when I realised I was a little lost. The surrounding didn’t seem familiar at all. To my dismay, I wasn’t carrying my phone, or my wallet. I had simply sauntered out with the keys in my hands. You think I am an idiot? Me too! Very few people have the capability of getting lost so close to where they live. Fortunately, I found my way back at some point. Only after I took the familiar turn did my heart beat return to normal.

I am so directionally challenged! It is not even funny anymore.  People usually understand directions. That is how they get by. I only memorise the route. So I am always desperately looking out for landmarks. If I find nothing to take note of, I panic! I then resort to temporary landmarks. For example, take the second right after you see the blue skirt on the display window of some store. And if the store has closed by the time I want to get to my destination, you can imagine how clueless and lost I feel.

I once had to go to a friend’s place. She gave me the number of the bus that would take me there. I walked to the bus stop, happily entered the bus I was supposed to and patiently waited for my stop to come. It never did. When we got to the last stop, I asked the driver if my designated stop had been omitted from the route. He calmly informed me that I had gotten into the right bus, but from the wrong side of the road! I had a monthly pass, so I didn’t have to get a ticket from the conductor, which is why I didn’t figure this out for so long. Sigh. Until the end, I had no clue that I was traveling in the opposite direction.

There’s more. I might with some divine intervention figure out how to get from point A to point B. But when it comes to returning from point B to point A, I am lost again. My brain, unlike other developed brains cannot reverse and backtrack the path. I feel so disadvantaged.

To make matters worse, I do not understand maps. Fortunate are those people who can travel the world just by reading those complex geographical representations that seem nothing more than a maze to me.  Honestly, I wouldn’t even know if you were holding the map upside down.

Mint on the other hand has a terrific sense of direction. His sense of direction is so strong that I am sure he’ll find his way back even if I blind fold him and drop him in the dense forests of the Amazon. He obviously does not need a GPS system in the car. I suspect he has an inbuilt GPS hidden in the corner of his brain. If we’re driving to another state, the maximum he’ll do is get a print out of the directions using Google Maps. The damn directions start with instructions like ‘Head northwest to X avenue’. He tells me I shouldn’t use the GPS either. Just following the instructions in the print out is enough.  But how the hell am I to know what direction northwest is huh? And God forbid I take one wrong turn! I will never find my way back in this life.

We all know Mint is a mean, mean boy. He has fun at my expense. If we’re leaving a mall, he’ll insist I lead him to the car. These malls are huge with multiple exits and parking lots. Most of the times, I walk around aimlessly, testing my luck as I go. Hoping to see a flash of red at some point. I can usually hear him laugh as he follows me and watches me go around in circles.

How I wish there was some human maintainence department where I could send my defective brain for repair . Or better still, if I could find a way to replace this faulty model I have been supplied with. Perhaps then, my life could gain some direction.

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57 Responses to “On being directionally challenged..”

  1. Comfy said

    I am laughing so hard now. I think in this case even Buzz has a better direction sense than you 😀

  2. Sands said

    Ok I guess our similarity ended with yesterday’s post 🙂 I am a Mint alike when it comes to directions. I know exactly where am going and these days I don’t bother to print directions since the iphone app gives me the directions just in time. But I do have friends exactly like you who get lost in our own neighborhood 🙂 I have one who calls me at work and tells me that she can see tall buildings on her left and looks to me to navigate her back home 🙂

  3. snippetsnscribbles said

    That thing about traveling in the opposite direction is really funny 😀 😀

    Northwest 😀 😀 I have the exact same doubt – how the hell would anyone know which is the NorthWest side of some place?! “Just see where the Sun is and you have the rest of the directions” G says 😛

  4. Lol…i have a strange case with directions too…if i have driven to the place myself, i will remember the way – left after sari billboard and all…But if i have been driven to the place…uh ho no way do i know where i am

  5. Chhavi said

    I face the same problem Pepper 😦 for me a map is like a piece of art and I know for a fact that I am no artist to be able to interpret it 😦

  6. R's Mom said

    Am going to just copy paste this post on my blog and substitute Pepper for RM and Mint for RD…seriously we need some inbuilt system..and here is something that will make you feel better for getting off on the wrong side of the road 🙂
    read it when you get time
    http://readingthroughrsmind.blogspot.com/2010/05/how-i-reached-cambridge-london.html

  7. Ashwathy said

    See it this way. Atleast you got a husband who is sharp in directions…. and pray your kids inherit it from him! 😀

    • Pepper said

      I do pray for that. My dad is brilliant in directions. My mom is like me. I got the wrong genes from mom. And other wrong genes from dad. 😦

  8. Scribby said

    this sounds so much like me peppy !!

    Same pinch and Hugs babes 🙂

  9. this sounds familiar.I’m not very bad (sorry!) but I’m bad at giving directions. I can figure out what is where, but I *suck* at giving directions of the “take the first left, go straight 256 metres and then take a 45 deg turn” variety. You can’t believe how much be ribs me about it. Boys are evil. Hmpf.

  10. SH said

    I am really really bad with directions as well that I have come to a stage where I ask my dad or friends to mark down the route for me in paper and I carry that around! Sigh!!

  11. I am like Mint and my mother like you. So when she came here, I trained her by taking her to the high street by walk and asking her to lead us back home. I would plainly walk with her showing no expressions even if she took wrong turns. It was fun to see her noting my facial expressions even if we crossed roads. Just for fun i even gave her wrong signals when she took me on the correct road. 😛

    Finally she was well trained and went to shops, gardens and ponds by herself when I went to work 😀

    • Pepper said

      LOL! I am laughing so much imagining you like that, with no expressions! Glad that worked 😀
      I can also learn my way around one particular road, but that is because I memorise it. If you put me in a new place, I’ll be lost again. Sigh.

  12. scorpria said

    rofl!!
    sooo not with you on this one 😀 i’m rather good with directions 😀
    and the way mint makes you go around in circles — more rofl! 😀

  13. S said

    hahaha 🙂 poor you!
    and he laughs at u? :O
    even funnier 😀 heehee..
    it’s ok.. Mint ‘completes’ you 😛 such a compatible couple both of u! 🙂

  14. Deboshree said

    Ha ha ha accept my sympathies. 😀
    My Mom is great with directions and I have luckily imbibed that skill. But even then, things do fog up at times… my granny says roads transform at night. So you see, I am sure you will function without that department after all. 😉 😀

  15. Seena said

    Interesting post. Initially it was tough for me to use map and drive, but later I mastered it and now I am an excellent travel planner, I think so:)

    I always felt more than the subjects we learn from school, these types of skill is what we require from the schools.

    Now that US life is making me lazy and I use GPS so much that I drive blind with the GPS on. Once our GPS fuse had gone and it stopped working. No need to say we had tough time getting back home.

  16. Hear you pain sistah.. * sob *

    I demand a replacement/repair too.

    The hubby ( who is a genie when it comes to reading maps and knowing directions and does it as a hobby sometimes * gasp *)….sometimes asks me to pint the direction of the next turn and when I point to the right, laughs out loud ad goes left.

    They sure are meanies Pepper 😛

    You are not alone though {{Hugs}} 🙂

  17. binpin said

    I think its a man thing with them having an in built GPS.Busy at home right now and no sleep due to the match:) , so will write more later!

    • Pepper said

      I know. The match was at such a crazy time for us 🙂
      Is it a man thing? A lot of women seem to be having the same in built system as well. It only makes me feel worse 😦

  18. in a parallel universe, you and I would have been twin souls.

    It took me around one year to remember my route from home to office(god promise) and even that route will get messed up if i go by auto and the auto takes a shortcut. and it took me some more months to remember the route from office to home 😐

    even now, i point to my right and tell my bro that we have to go left.

  19. Bikram said

    HE HE HE HE HE HE
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA .. yeah blame it all on him..

    Ok what you need is one of those APPS on your phone where you click a button to say this is where the car is parked and go about ur business and then ask the phone to guide you where the car is 🙂

    But on getting lost well ITs become a TRADITION of some sorts that inspite of the GPS or anything when me and family or others have to treavle and go far we have to get lost at least ONCE. so you are not alone…

    I remember once while hiking we had got lost and spent the next 24+ hours to get the direction right, and at that moment all those movies that we see WRong turn, Hills have eyes Come to mind …

    • Pepper said

      Getting lost is a tradition when you travel with family? I guess that is fun in its own unique way then 🙂 Hills having eyes sounds a little creepy to me 😀

  20. Oregano said

    I AM EXACTLY THE SAME AS YOU (as lost as you)!!!

  21. ajay said

    I am not good at getting directions and finding my way out but I am really bad at giving directions. Many a times I ended up giving wrong directions to people only to realize and regret it later and trust me I never did that intentionally. It just happened. So now I think twice before guiding someone in their way.

    • Pepper said

      Like I said, it is okay to not be good at giving directions. It does not hamper your life. You can always ask somebody else to direct the concerned person.

  22. Anil said

    I suppose most of us are directionally challenged to some degree. Still, maybe if does not reinforce it to oneself then maybe it’ll go away with time. If we expect to be lost because of the perception we have about ourselves then we do get lost.

    • Pepper said

      You might be right. But when your past experiences have only led to failures, you lose every ounce of faith you had in your own abilities 😦

  23. UmaS said

    OMG !!! I was laughing so much…. 😉

    Its exactly the reverse here, at home. While me and my elder one are good at directions, routes and maps, the husband and the younger one are totally on the other side….

    It happens….but just be happy that Mint can trace ways even blindfolded. Thats why u both are together…Imagine if he is also directionally challenged, how difficult that would be….

    LOL !!! Tracing the lift and the Parking Area of our car, is a challenge for my husband in every mall…. 😉 😉

    • Pepper said

      I feel your husband’s pain Ums ;).. If Mint was directionally challenged too, the two of us would probably lie in our shell for our entire life.

  24. Bahh am reading this now and really really thankful to bring along Samy for our meet yesterday :mrgreen: err I did get a first hand experience of your faulty brain no? 😛

    Don’t worry I always say a prayer to god for pairing me with a man who is a compass in disguise and another little guy who can actually decipher the map 🙄

    • Pepper said

      You sure got a taste of my faulty brain 😛
      And what? You don’t need your compass like husband. You seemed pretty good at directions yourself. If at all I decide to come to your place, I’ll say a million prays of thank you IF I manage to reach 😛

  25. Tanishka said

    Lol… But seriously even I face the same problem and so I can totally understand… And trust me you are not the only idiot, your count has already gone upto two… 😀 Even I leave my wallet n phone at home only to realize I need them when stuck in a trouble… 😛

  26. Phew ! And I thought I was alone ! I too am “geographically challenged” as I like to call it 🙂 I read many entries in your blog…and laughed my guts out at some, smiled at many others…generally had a great time 🙂 Thanks 🙂

  27. Oh any by the way, your bus incident…I did the same…except on a Mumbai local…thank god my ticket wasn’t checked !

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