Sunday, February 23, 2014

Maps; Real Kind

Driving in 101 North from San Louis Obispo back home in San Jose, I wish for a map. We are looking at the car GPS but I wish for the real kind that are printed. I like to study it, finding my "you are here" myself, and pin where I want to go. Then map my path going from page to page where the page ends while the road still continues.
This reminds me of my days at Canspec, a consulting company in Oakville, Ontatio I was employed at in early 2005. My manager and I needed to visit clients around Ontario. He had a road atlas in his car and would give me the client's address.  We would find the location on the map and pan out a plan. I would then become his guide showing him the way while browsing the maps following the agreed upon plan. In return, he would map the lunch stops in his head. He knew the best soup places around Ontario, the best burger shops, the best German dineries. All inexpensive and a hole in the wall actually but indeed delicious dishes. Everywhere he went he ordered "the usual" and said hi to the mom and pop.  He taught me the ethiquette in eating soup the German way.  He was not very talkative but suddenly would blurt something facinating about a road we were on or a building we were passing by.  All the while, I had my head burried in the road atlas.  Soon after, I would request the address and find the direction via Google Map before departure. It was new at the time and more convenient to me than Map Quest.  I would then print the direction from our office to the client's and pin it to the inner side of their folder. J.Z., my boss, was impressed but we continued using the road atlas when traveling in his car.
We used to have a road atlas in my parents' car too.  We travelled around Iran using the book. I still remember the ragged red cover of the book and how it was exciting to me finding our way through its pages; where the pages ended and the roads continued.


Anonymous said...

if only life had that type of map sometimes. At least how I feel about it today.

midnight/... said...

Thanks for the comment! But life is not to stretch forever I am afraid and not to be provided with directions and alternatives all the time. I think that is beautiful actually.