Thursday, May 26, 2011
Make a right at the "happy people"
The GPS and any sort of navigation assistant are all relatively new aids. Before that, for the most part, I relied on verbal directions provided by the company I was going to visit. After all, who better to guide you than the people you are going to see? My travels often took me to every industrial park in the nation, so directions were often prefaced with, "cross the railroad tracks, and-". To this day, every time I cross over a railroad track I expect to turn into an industrial park immediately afterwards.
With verbal directions comes the inevitable "lost in translation" syndrome. I have ended up in some rather unsavory locations due to miscommunication. Yet, on the other hand, some people go that extra step to give you a complete narrative on how to locate their building. For example, I was traveling to Calgary airport and the person told me that once I reached the end of the airport road I should make a right at the "happy people." Naturally, I had no idea what that meant, but I had my eyes glued for happy people.
At the end of the road were three giant water towers and on them were painted a host of people from all walks of life, smiling and waving. Happy people. I grinned and made my right turn.
Does anyone still rely on verbal directions, and if so, do you have any tales to share?