directionless in seattle
I have virtually no sense of direction. I have to concentrate very hard to remember which way is North (or whatever), even if I'm driving on Interstate 5, which runs straight North-South from British Columbia to Mexico (let's see, Hawaii is on my *left*, and Boston is on my *right*, so if I turn right, Mexico will then be on my right...)
If I walk into a building, as soon as I make one turn (or step into an elevator), I can no longer tell you the direction of the door where I entered. I would make a terrible secret agent.
Which brings me to my peeve, which is that people don't seem to know how to *give* directions either. Maybe there's some secret code or universal understanding between direction-enabled people, and it just seems confusing to me because I'm direction-retarded. But in my experience, the conversation goes something like the following about 75% of the time:
Bryan: Hi, could you give me directions to your hotel?
Hotel Person: Sure, where are you now?
Bryan: Looks like I'm on Sandalwood Boulevard.
HP: Okay, well, just continue down Sandalwood until you see Berry Street...
And I'm lost and frustrated already. How does this person know where I am on Sandalwood? Which direction am I supposed to drive in?
Sometimes I'll say "I'm at 5th and Pine streets" and the person will then say "Okay, turn left on Pine" without asking me which direction I'm facing, or even if I might be on Pine street already. It's like they assigned me a direction and location in their mind by ESP.
Or sometimes I'll ask "How far until the turn onto McKnight?" and the person will answer something like "Oh, I don't know -- it's a ways, but not too far."
All of this is very confusing and frustrating for the directionally-challenged. I think people giving directions should be required to give at a minimum all the following information for each step of directions they give you:
1) street name
2) distance to street
4) signal type
5) direction (North, South, etc)
6) change in direction relative to current direction (left, right, U-turn)
7) name of hotel where you stay if you decide to just give up on the whole thing and spend the night right where you are.
Or I guess I could just get a GPS, but that might take all the fun out of it...