Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stone hedges and one ways

It hasn’t happened in a while, well at least to me. And I don’t want it to happen again any time soon. “What is he on about?” I hear you ask.

(well imagine you ask, but still)

I am talking about the horrible feeling, the annoying and angering situation of being utterly and completely lost.

Now I don’t mean being in a town and taking a wrong turn and being in the wrong place. That’s fine, it’s just a matter of finding one road leading back in the right direction that’s not a one way street. I mean finding yourself in a place and having absolutely no clue of where on the map you are. Now for you foreign people, I live in a country with a surface area of 300 square kilometers, it’s small! Drive in one direction for half an hour, and chances are you’ll hit a coastal road, and from thee you know where you are.

But last Sunday, I attended a wedding. Getting there was fine, I was following someone else from the church to the venue. I did note the way we came in, and also that there were road works in progress, but I had other things on my mind at the time, so didn’t think much about it.

It was a fantastic wedding, mass and reception, both well thought out and every detail was perfect.

Anyway, as I drove out of the parking lot, tired but very satisfied with the day, it hit me, that I had no idea where I was. Thinking I could just backtrack the way I had come I drive up a road to find my way blocked by that dreaded red circle with a white horizontal rectangle, a no entry sign. Fine, how hard could it be to get out of a small town? Right?

Fifteen minutes later, I’m still stuck in what seems to be a closed grid of roads. In frustration and desperation I called up the friend who I had followed in, assuming he knows the way out.

“Hey, how do you get out of here?”

“I don’t even know where I am, let alone how to get you out!” he yelled back mirroring my feelings.

And that’s just it! That feeling of not knowing where we are is what’s so horrible. We usually have a vague idea of the direction we need to take, but not knowing where we are, AT ALL gets to us.

It takes us back to the feeling of being lost as children. We never know where we are when we are young, because we rarely care. If we are out of the environment we know, we don’t know where we are, how we got there or how to get out, but as long as we see PEOPLE we know we’re fine; As soon as we do not, we panic, we freak out.

Last Sunday it was the same thing, except I was in a car, and I was not lost in a park, or supermarket, but in a town.

Thinking about it though, I think the feeling of being trapped made it worse. I was trapped in this town, I didn’t even know the name of, because when we eventually we got out of the grid of roads, I was still completely lost and had no idea where I was, but at least I was moving towards somewhere, knowing that eventually I would hit a main road I recognize. In that situation, the feeling, if it wasn’t plead by frustration would be interest in seeing where we would end up.

So being lost AND trapped is the frustrating situation.

Unless it’s a choice.

There are of course Mazes, where people purposefully go into a group of alleys and dead ends for entertainment. That’s fine, its safe, it’s fun.

But turn the paths into roads, the hedged into houses, the dead ends into no entry signs, and put people in vehicles, and you’ve got my friends and I in some town below the line.

Thinking about it, the alcohol might have been a contributing factor, and I didn't really ask directions, but like all famous bloggers, I’m blaming the government and their road works.


Charlene said...

ye i understand how u feel..we got lost coming to the reception lol..the way back was fine...then we gave a ride to a complete stranger to show us where while i was changing in the car wooot hehe another aventure i guess =)

Matt said...

I didn't get lost. But I took the road under construction to get out and I'm not sure if technically doing that was allowed.

And the town was Marsascala.