And I, in earnest, would say, "...um...that way?" And then he'd laugh at me.
I do not know where anything is. Especially not in relation to anything else. For instance, sitting inside my apartment right now (having no street views), I could not possibly be expected to know where the grocery store is. I casually did this yesterday, referenced running to the market and made a half-hearted wave with my hand to indicate the market was in the general direction of over there.
Ish stopped me. "Wait, did you just point to the store?"
"Oh, uh, yeah?"
"You think it's over that way?"
Now, perhaps you're wondering if I have these same issues when I'm driving, and I'm sorry to say that yes, and in fact, even more so.
Driving around SOMA (that's "south of Market" for all you non-SFers, where Ish and I live now) should be really easy, for example, since all the streets are in numerical order. The challenge, however, is that most of them are one-way streets. But not all. And in one case, the street starts out as two-way and then dead ends and you suddenly have to turn, and you're like, but the street I need to be on is RIGHT THERE in front of me!
Let's just say that I have been on some amazing odysseys within a 7 block radius of my own damn home.
And as you might well imagine, since I started driving to work last summer (to a city I know even less well than the one I LIVE in), Google Maps and I have become good buddies.
Not that Google Maps helps.
Here is an entirely true story.
Last Friday, I decided to go out and get myself a sandwich at lunch from a deli I heard existed nearby. And even though I knew it was supposed to be "just around the corner," and even though I looked up the deli and discovered it was in a shopping plaza I had been to before, I still plugged the address into Google and studied the map, just to be safe.
Here is what it looked like:
Totally easy, right?
So I head out.
I manage to get to point "B" with little issue. Indeed, the plaza is just around the corner.
But when I get toward the entrance of the plaza, I have to make a choice. There are actually two plazas, kind of, and while the one on the left looks like the "real" one, I have to make a decision.
Use of aerial images for storytelling purposes only. Do not think I bothered to look at these ahead of time. (Uh, not that they would've helped anyway.)
On the left is the shopping plaza where the deli is supposedly located. I can't see the deli from where the parking lot entrance is, but I could logically conclude that the deli is located among the many establishments in the plaza.
To my right, there is the entrance to the other plaza, which mostly looks like a chain restaurant.
And so, in the two seconds I have to decide which way to turn, what with oncoming traffic and all, I make the only logical decision I can.
I turn right.
In some version of the universe, this makes sense to me. Maybe the deli will be located next to the other restaurant, on the other side of the street, across from where it's supposed to be, because...the two food establishments should be near each other? Because you never know?
Yeah, no. There was no reason for me to turn right. There was no deli in the parking lot for the other restaurant.
So I turn the car around, cross the divide, and enter the plaza parking lot. I don't see the deli immediately, so I turn right, along the front of the various stores, looking for it.
Please note that at this juncture, I have no idea how huge this plaza is, or that there's a big store at the end there.
I just keep driving in the direction of "right," hoping something will crop up that resembles a deli.
Alas, nothing does. And when I come to the end of the row, I do the next logical thing.
I go left.
And then I just keep on driving, slowly, as this enormous expanse of bargain stores and parking lot unfolds before my very eyes. I keep my eyes peeled for the deli, but after what feels like 300 miles, it's nowhere to be seen.
Eventually, I come to the end of the bargain stores. It made no sense to me to turn around at that point, so I decided to -- that's right -- turn left again. Maybe the deli's on the other side of the building! I think.
Except it isn't. In fact, nothing is. Literally. No store entrances, not even more parking. Instead, it's like I've turned down a strange alley, lined with dumpsters and the occasional car. It makes no sense, this little road. Why are there no stores here? Why is -- is that a river off to my right? What is going on?
WHERE IS THE DELI???
Eventually, I come to the end of the scary, no-store non-road and see familiar territory.
I can go right, which appears to lead me right out of the parking lot, or I can go left, which leads me back where I started.
I opt to go left, on the idea that I simply missed the deli the first time around.
What I do not realize, however, is that the building to my right that I am completely ignoring because it looks like a Starbucks?
I do not realize it is the deli until I am well past it, and have to double back. Again.
And that is why it took me about 30 minutes to get to the deli .5 miles from where I started. And why Google Maps can't idiot-proof directions. And why you do not ever ask me to be a "navigator."
That blue line would be the correct way to get there.
La la laaaaaaa.