Being Helpful

Every wrong turn is an opportunity to learn something new about the unexpected place you find yourself in.

I should take that sentence and attach a photograph to it.  Maybe something optimistic and hopeful, like a sunset and a big horizon.  Or maybe something mind boggling, like confusion wrapped up in disorientation and served up on a platter of ‘what the fuck?’.

I returned the rental car today and took one wrong turn.  One wrong turn and it took me an hour to get back on track.  Twenty minutes passed before I even realized I was headed in completely the wrong direction.  I had to sniff around, looking for bus routes I recognized, churches I could orient myself with, and landmarks I could guide myself by.  Bucharest’s twisting winding streets never fail to fuck with my sense of direction.  It’s like wandering through a forest.

Actually, I have wandered through forests.  I do much better with forests than I do with Bucharest’s streets.  Give me a topographical map and a compass set in 2 degree increments, and I can navigate my way through anything.  I could even triangulate my position if the landmarks are visible.  I have already decided that a compass will be part of my next trip.

The trick is to simply know where I’m going, rather than relate the directions to roads on the map.  There are two many one way streets, side streets, blocked streets, turning lanes, bus lanes, and kamikaze lanes to simply plan my route to a map.  I did very well driving the parts of Bucharest I knew intimately.  It was the other 70% of the city that messed me up.

I hung out this evening with Darius, Andreea, and Ioana, three of the designers from the Urban Future shoot.  I met them at school and we walked to a pub in the Old Centre.  It was good to catch up and reconnect.  The three are very close friends who’ve known each other a long time.  I caught up with them at a rather dramatic period in their lives.  Andreea and Darius hadn’t seen each other since they broke up two weeks ago.

The evening turned into a bit of a healing session, combined with some angst, combined with some motivational speaking.  I told them that “every wrong turn is an opportunity to learn something new about the unexpected place you find yourself in.”

They all looked at me like I was crazy, or an asshole, or both.  Probably would have sounded better to not start laughing half way through the sentence.

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