Where???, Part 2

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The other morning, I had a typical taxi experience.  I told the driver where to take me.  He clearly recognized the name of the neighborhood but not the landmark I had provided.  He began driving and as we got closer to the neighborhood, he started asking me for directions.  At least I’m pretty sure that’s what he was asking for, because he didn’t speak English.  This is where it began to seem pretty ridiculous to me.  I have no idea how to get around this huge city yet—most streets look equally chaotic to me.  The idea of me giving directions to anyone is laughable; I rely on the taxi drivers to know how to get me to where I’m going.  So here I was in a moving cab, trying to guess what street to take when I had no idea where we were or how to get to my destination, and trying to give some sort of directions in English, which the driver didn’t understand.  It was definitely like the blind leading the deaf—though I could qualify as both the blind and the deaf in this case.  Yet somehow we made it.  I don’t know how this works, but it usually does.  I’m learning several things here—that I should probably pick up some basic Hindi; that even without Hindi, pantomiming often does the trick; and that somehow, communication transcends language barriers.  And that moving to a big city in a foreign country is often, and in many ways, a very humbling experience.

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One Response to “Where???, Part 2”

  1. Tommy Boy Says:

    Chris, can you find? and then carry with you a map of your neighborhood with only the major arteries on it, draw in a few of the most recognizable landmarks in a circle around the map so that drivers coming from any direction will get their bearings, and plant an X on the map close to home? It might not get you to your street, but it may get you close enough to your home to be able to guide from there…. ?

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