February 3, 2013 at 9:26am
I had her address, I took a taxi, gave him the directions and …….I reached her house. The taxi left and I stood outside. I rang the bell and waited no response. I tried to peep from the window and even went backdoor but strange, there wasn’t a soul or a sound. I was sure my friend had played a prank so I called her and asked her to come outside. She came outside but I couldn’t see her.
It was absolutely not funny to realize that I was knocking on the wrong house and worse, miles away from civilization, in the middle of a suburb with identical looking houses and lanes! I couldn’t see anything that even remotely looked like a taxi or even some kind of a four wheeler. (or two or six).
The party to celebrate the ‘end of the world’ at my friends house in Coburg didn’t seem appealing anymore as I went round and round in circles and I’d almost lost hope of finding my way out of the maze until I came across a “Loise look alike” (remember Loise from my other adventures), Sara. We chatted like long lost friends and my sad face and award winning expressions had her convinced enough to bring out a huge scary looking directory which she spread on the bonnet of her car and helped me try and figure out where I was. Geography and maps was never a strong point and this was certainly neither the time nor place to start. All I wanted to know was “where was the nearest bus-stop or taxi stop or even the main road?’ But she liked my company and gave helpful hints about my exact location without actually telling me how to get out of that place, until I asked her, “Do you live alone?”
That was it! The book vanished so did the help, she gave me a strange look and almost threw me off the street. I am sure I did not look like an axe-murderer but she sure didn’t want to find out. In less than a minute I was back to where I had started- nowhere, but luckily, just then I saw a BUS and I started waving but I could have been invisible in the fading light. The lady driver didn’t seem to be too happy to see me (maybe she had had a long day) nor did she seem friendly when I told her that I wasn’t sure where I was but to drop me to a place where I could find a taxi. She did think I was carrying an axe too? To add to it, she gave me strange looks when I mistook a yellow car for a cab and tried to stop it from inside her bus.
She quickly left me stranded in the middle of a street with a lot of possible yellow. Just as always, with my cell on a dangerous battery low (Stupid phones, no matter how much you charge them, they never work when you need them the most!), bottles of Christmas present wines (why did I take two?) and gifts from Chris Cringle weighing heavily on my shoulder, the most comfortable wedges starting to lose their charm, I stood and waved and stood and waved.
All the prospective taxis ignored my waving arms and pretended not to see me. If I was not in Australia, I would have either consumed or even abandoned the wine right there on the road but with cameras all over I was left with the burden and no takers. Hunger as an impending threat, tired of being ignored, I used almost the last of the batteries to admit defeat. I just wanted to sit somewhere and I also needed food. As I watched the yellows whizz off in the fading light, I almost felt I was inside a video game. I turned to almost start walking and realized that my weary eyes had failed to see the train station, partially hidden in the darkness of my mind. The station was deserted and after a half hour wait, an almost forgotten pie from my breakfast and another ‘axe-murderer looking’ fellow passenger, I reached finally reached my friend’s house looking like a zombie.
The cause of all this confusion – typo error on what’s app. A ‘h’ instead of a ‘n’, thanks to Vernaz. She had mistakenly typed ‘Lynh’ instead of ‘Lynn’.
A few weeks back, recovered and well into the New Year, I thought I was cured. I asked everyone, called up the office twice and they all told me the same thing “Take ANY tram from outside Flinder’s Station and get off at stop 19, walk for a few mins and you’ll be there.” I did just that, took the first available ANY tram that came along and blissfully watched the numbers move…..1,2,3,4………16, 17 and then 21. Where did I miss the 19? I quickly got off the 21, sure that I must have dozed off after 17. I once again found myself in the middle of somewhere but nowhere close to where I was supposed to be. I did eventually find my way and missed my appointment with the agent. I had been right to take ANY tram but being more specific about the different sides of Flinder’s Station would have been a good idea.
My point is – is it only me or are most women terrible with directions? We are basically super humans who multitask but there are some areas where we can be pretty stupid and for me it is ‘directions’, I admit I am totally useless. There are lesser stories which can be shared over a glass of wine someday, really silly stuffs 🙂
By the way, just as I am writing this, I heard someone ask Loise if she had a haircut and the poor guy, he (and me but I am inside the house so my listening was selective) got all the details….which hairdresser, how long she’s been going there, how did she go and more………the cats were mentioned too! I am afraid to step out today. But on a serious note, I admire her and Sam, my new friend.
Every morning I pass a house which has a beautiful orchard and I notice an old man watering the trees. He looks to be about eighty and his hands shake (continuously) as he waters and tends them. My curiosity and a hunger for a new story had me stop there one day to say hi. I was rewarded with two purple looking fruits (which I put in my bag and forgot about it until a few days later I found my passport almost purple too). So now, I leave for work with a few minutes to spare and I get my lemon, peach and sometimes the purple fruit…two of each. We (esp me) now anxiously await the ripening of the grapes as I have been promised to get a break from the rest and pick grapes straight off the vine.
One day, as always, me and my big mouth – I asked Sam if he lived alone (what’s with ‘living alone’ and me) but fortunately either he couldn’t hear me or understand my accent or he didn’t mind the question, we are still friends. The other day he even invited me for a drink (it was early morning so I presume it was for coffee 🙂 but like a typical office -goer I was running late for my train so I only had the time to visit the backyard of his orchard which had more of those purple fruit trees and lemon and peach. My friends had a good laugh when I wondered if he’d adopt me coz I kind of like his big mysterious house with all the free fruit. But I guess you need better qualifications to be eligible for adoption. I need a PR, does that make me eligible?
Yesterday I was quietly minding my own business and going home when Sam saw me. With no possible excuses I accompanied him to a tour of his house where he so sweetly offered me orange juice and some cardboard tasting biscuits. I ate one and hid the other in my bag and spent another ten minutes refusing the rest. We tried a conversation, mostly in our own languages and whatever English we knew.
Hats off to all the Loise, Sara and Sam’s in the world….brave souls who live life with a ‘never give up’ attitude’, lonely but not alone. Can we learn something from them? Can we for a moment not complain about what we don’t have and dwell on what we do – human contact and families and friends that are with and around us. Can we imagine the tragedy of living alone, the only highlights being occasional visits from family and a few words from the oh-so busy neighbours or passer by’s.
I leave you thinking until you find something better. LOL.