Kidding! Really, how many jokes are possible here? The potential butts, other than family members, of whom would likely take offense are endless so I decided to go with an easy target. Plus my family has had to turn the other cheek on my transgressions for decades. Let me quickly get to the bottom line on the subject: Moving Lesson # 5- Don’t be afraid to get lost.
Spouse and I have a long-standing deal- I drive he navigates. It prevents the fights that ensue due to my medical condition termed map dyslexia. I compensate for this condition when traveling alone by carrying a map, iPhone GPS system and written directions from the website of the destination. When I found this Hapless Horse’s Half, I was splashing sweat on the sidewalk walking in circles looking for the train station- lost. My iPhone pin was bouncing from one place to the next sending me to and fro between streets that led nowhere. The author of the directions had carelessly written vague directions with landmarks only visible to those who looked up to read skyscrapers looming overheard. My map dyslexia was causing me to turn the wrong direction at every street.
I was not in distress. I was not nervous. First of all, Tokyo is one of the safest cities in the world. Second of all, I had my back up plan in my bag- cab fare and the address in Japanese. Because of my back up plan, I was able to enjoy the scenery as it passed. Along the way, I noticed the Japanese do in fact decorate everything, including man-hole and fire extinguisher covers. Note examples below:
I’ve also learned that my favorite places have been discovered while lost. My sister, “the nose” (Her nickname related to her ability to sniff out all locations not due to the size or shape of her beak), likes to look for “short cuts” no matter what city she visits invariably leading to wonderings far beyond the original destination which have led to wonderful cafes, photo opportunities, and purchases.
Moving Lesson #5: Don’t be afraid to get lost. Keep emergency cab fare and the address of the location of home on your person (not your purse,wallet or backpack) and wander the new location freely. Offspring #s #1 &2 both must have cab fare and the address in Japanese on them at all times in case they get lost and can not get home. Spouse is sporting a new tattoo on the inside of his forearm with the same information for when he gets lost. Free with the knowledge that one can jump in a cab if need be- go explore. I guess that’s the tail end of this entry…
Excellent advice. Is Tokyo really a very safe place? I’m always nervous about visiting new cities (even in my own country) just in case something happens. And the horror infused with a previous post of yours regarding addresses being of no use to locate places … I’m the kind of person who can get lost after taking a few steps beyond my front door. Even armed with every navigation aid available. So the suggestion of cab fare and addresses written down – is now etched into my brain for future reference. Excellent idea!!
Tokyo is VERY safe- one can walk around anywhere any time. That’s one of the benefits of living in Japan- the safety. Also rare for people to take advantage of you- great place to come and warm up in a country that doesn’t speak your language.