Nota bene: I’m not sure yet if I’m allowed to blog about my internship. Different companies have different rules and I just want to check before I write anything. But I can talk about my trip to my company.
I am notoriously bad at directions. For my high school graduation present, my parents gave me a GPS. I am also probably one of the few people who has ever driven the entirety of 86th street. It dead ends in a little farm-yard.
And this is with Indianapolis’s grid system.
London does not have a systematic –or really any – plan. The roads intersect at odd angles and change names around every corner. The historian in me loves the fact that I am walking the same routes people hundreds of years ago traveled, but the stressed American student trying to find her company’s building on the first day hates it.
To be honest, I made it there in plenty of time (I gave myself an hour cushion). But on the way home, I became horribly and utterly lost. I wandered up and down the streets and crossed over to the other side so people wouldn’t wonder why that girl was walking past the window for a sixth time.
I guess I could have asked for directions, but the detective who spoke to our group yesterday about safety said always to look confident and not wave a map about. As a result, not only was I lost, I was confidently lost.
Eventually, I walked into a bookstore and surreptitiously pulled out my map.
I should have done this sooner.
My map showed I had been standing in front of my street for the last 10 minutes. In London, there are no street signs; the names of streets are carved into the buildings’ corners. The name of the street I needed changed depending on which side of the building I faced.
So I did the only thing I could.
I shoved the map into my pocket and, confidently, strode out the door.