Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mapquesting us

Yesterday we went to a dinner party at our friends’ new house. They moved recently and that was the first time we are going there. So I put the address into Mapquest – woe worth it – and then wrote down the driving instructions on the little piece of notepaper. And off we go – hubby as a driver, I as a navigator.

We started at the south shore of the great Saint Laurence river, crossed the Champlain bridge to the island of Montreal, took the 20-th highway and then the simple part of out journey was over. I called the exit:

“This is us: 63 to 138 and 1st Avenue!”
“Good. Then what?” asked hubby, taking the exit.
“Then, - I was reading from my paper, - go straight to Donnely and then turn right to St. Jean”.
Ok, but where am I going NOW?” insisted hubby while we were approaching the fork: “1st Avenue” was going to the right.
“It says go straight,” I answered. “To the Donnely. Let’s go straight and find that Donnely”.

So we went straight, got back on the highway, crossed the Mercier bridge and in 3 min we were back at the south shore of the great Saint Laurence river. Exactly where we had started 25 min ago.

We turned back, which took us about 20 min, and took again the exit 63. This time we go right with 1st Avenue and got the beep off the highway.

“Look for that Donnely now,” I said.

The sun was low and straight ahead of us, so all the signs looked like blind black rectangles, until you were passing them. When it was too late, obviously. “Mills”, “St. George”, “St. Jean” Wait. There was something about St. Jean, I recall?

Oups, I think we had to turn there…” – I said.
“There – where?”
“Back there at St. Jean. To the right.”
“But where is Donnely?” – reasonably asked hubby.
“There is no beeping beep beep Donnely! It doesn’t beeping exist,” politely explained I, while we were turning and getting to the full stop on a unpaved piece of land in the middle of nowhere, and under “nowhere” I mean a scary industrial zone.

So we were staying there, contemplating. A grain elevator in front of us and a dusty tractor is just alongside. I am rummaging through the glow compartment, looking for a city map. And I am finding quite a few: a city map of Boston, Toronto and Ottawa, and the whole New Jersey.

Not even remotely funny.

But the funny thing, when we finally arrived, our friends told us:

“Oh and we were trying to call you and say the we were running late so please come one hour later. Which you magically did!”

It was a very nice evening indeed. Back home we were driving by the hand-drawn map that our host gave us. No, I am not saying that Mapquest is bad. Without it we were probably still be looking at that elevator.

No comments:

Post a Comment