Friday, February 6, 2015

Navigating with the i-Phone

Today, using my i-Phone navigator app, I went in search of an electronics shop located on an unpronounceable street. The voice directions led me through many interesting areas, occasionally more than once, including one rutted series of paths that smelled like raw sewage - but, alas, not to the sought for electronics shop. I did notice a different electronics place, so turned around, collided briefly with a woman on another motorbike, was treated to a number of choice curses,... then stopped at the alternate shop. I asked if they knew the place I was looking for.

"Oh yes. "

"Is it far from here?"

"Oh yaaa, masih jauh!"

So forget it. I went to Hypermart instead, which was not so far, and was told that I must go to the Samsung Service Center, inconveniently located on another unpronounceable street and very much in the opposite direction.

Once again, I entered the coordinates on my device, and off I went. The map indicated that I should arrive at my destination in about 22.3 minutes. 42.3 minutes later I arrived at a muddy field that contained quite a few cows, but no service center. Not even a barn. Wherever I went, at this point, the device told me to turn right. I found that it does not take many rights to make a circle. What seemed clear at this point was that a herd of cows had taken over the service center and altogether trampled it into the soggy earth.

Defeated, I headed back the way I had come, when, Lo, here was a big sign reading Samsung! Swiftly, I pulled into the lot, without hitting anyone, and entered the shop.

"Is this the Samsung Service Center?"

The three girls answered eagerly and as one

"Oh, no, Pak. That's on Chingatchgook Street" (or something like that.

I can draw you a map, one girl said, but was quickly interrupted by another, who was not impressed by the accuracy of the first girl's efforts. At last, all three huddled over their sheet of notepaper, drawing little boxes and giving them place names. In all these depictions, I saw no cows.

"Ok, that's great," I said. "I think I can find it."

Cheerfully, they bid me farewell, but then thought again to stop me at the door.

"But Pak - it's not open today. It's not open on weekends at all!"

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