Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Navigating in a new place

Anyone petrified of finding their way in a new place? Especially in India, where the cities don’t have a planned layout and block B may not be adjacent or close to block A or C but to block K and where no navigation device would accurately help, sometimes searching for a new address is almost like going to war! Grit your teeth and onward.

Still, my flatmate always found it odd that I know the exact order of stores on any given street when I cannot read a store name or sign even when I am directly in front of it.

But, it is just adaptation, as I cannot read I find other means, other details that act as “repères” (landmarks, reference points), a different set of associations from the sighted world that help me navigate.  I need to observe my surroundings more closely and memorise every detail to avoid the harrowing situation of wasting another 2 hours before realising that I was just 10 meters away from the spot when I started. 

In a new place, I would rather call up the store/friend and ask them for precise landmarks (located on which side of the road, closer to which intersection, which floor, near which metro exit, etc.). I find it reduces the area where I need to search and thereby the possibility of getting lost.

I used to feel terrified of finding my way in a new place. Over time, I've learnt to accept my limitations and ask for help. Now I'm not embarassed to ask people on the road for directions even if it turns out I'm standing right in front of my destination. I don't care what they think. I don't want to be psychologically terrified of a new address and I do not want to compromise my independene.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm scared of going out without my husband!