Yesterday an Italian girl got on the bus and asked if it was going to Trastevere, and I said ‘Yes’ – because I knew the answer. Later she told me she’s from Rome. And I wondered how it was that she was from Rome, and didn’t know which direction Trastevere was … and she said that she’s always lost in the center of the city. She said that she has lived in Rome for 23 years, and she is still always lost in the center of the city. I felt so much better about myself after she said that.
Rome is such a mess, and you really can’t navigate by landmark (everything looks the same! Yesterday I was driving the car home from work by myself, following both the GPS and the bus route that I ride home on … and I *still* went the wrong way – I knew I had to turn left, but I didn’t know if i wanted the left at 120 degrees, or the one at 75 degrees. I chose poorly). So I’ve decided that the only way to navigate in Rome is by cardinal directions. If you know you basically need to go northwest – all you need to do is weave your way northish and westish, taking whichever turns cause you to make forward progress. All well and good, as long as you have an innate sense of direction. Which I do not. I’m thinking I should maybe buy myself a good old fashioned compass. Maybe one that I can put on my keychain or something.
I stumbled across this blog entry tonight about the difference between those of you with that elusive sense of direction … and the rest of us. The author describes a conversation with her husband that felt very familiar. I laughed out loud.