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Last night, I got lost in London. It wasn't intentional. Indeed, I generally pride myself on being well-oriented. London confused me longer than most cities have, but I haven't been even particularly disoriented here in a year or so.

Last night's intention was to make my way from Oxford Circus north-east to UCL at Gower St. and Euston Road, from shopping errands to the UK premier of Flock of Dodos. Even if I hadn't done exactly that route before, it wasn't a difficult one. I went wrong by blithely plunging into side streets, trusting my sense of direction, and letting my pride keep me from consulting my A-Z for rather longer than I should have. The roads lie in constantly re-angled partial grids. At some point, I lost track of my turnings. By the time I'd passed Great Titchfield St. for the third time, I knew something was wrong. At Portland Place, I gave in and consulted my map. I was further west than when I'd started.

Fortunately, I was running early. Fifteen minutes of efficient walking later, I was safely in the theater with five minutes to spare.

(It's an entertaining documentary about science communication, as presented through the instance of the intelligent design vs. evolution court cases which came out of the Kansas School Board in 1999 and 2006. The movie is really about communication though, and largely simplifies much of its message in order to make that point clearly. It could have been yet more clear though, apparently: one audience member seemed to think it had been made to convince its audience of the truth of evolution. It really wasn't constructed that way.

Afterwards, I had lovely company for a dinner at Pizza Express with mirrorshard and the newly-met midnightmelody, thalassius, and fu_manchu12)

C. is also lost, but in a very different way. He's been diligently trying to make an impulse Wii purchase for weeks, and finally succeeded. He's now lost to tennis.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC)
At least London is big. I got lost for two hours in Freiburg-im-Breisgau -- in the Altstadt -- which is pretty damned small. I blame it on narrow, windy streets and relatively tall (well, 2-3 stories is tall when the street, i.e., an Allee or Gaßchen, is about 6-8 feet wide). Actually, I think I got lost in Augsburg's Altstadt a few times, too ... even after I'd lived there for over a year.
Feb. 12th, 2007 09:20 am (UTC)
every so often i've gotten lost in new york, and its an awful feeling - the familiar suddenly displaced by the shock of "where am I?"

the shock sends me directly into instinct, and I look around - still, after five years of the entire world knowing of their absence - for the twin towers. I learned to tell north from south from them more than a decade ago. so when I am lost, it is a double phenomenon: space and time.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )