January 12, 2010

Gotta get lost before you know where you're going!

Survival mode.

For a typically anxious person like me, survival mode is at once painful and therapeutic. Right now, Phnom Penh for me means disorientation, last-minute plans, and the consequential lateness of the former. I got lost today, on the way to the volunteer house. These volunteers are currently teaching. My cohorts will arrive sometime in February. I knew the house was really close by, but my map was lacking a crucial piece of information that led me to walk right past my first turn, dooming the rest. Okay, I thought, lets ask.

The asking led me even further from my destination and I grabbed a tuk tuk to just get me where I needed to be. I hadn't allowed time for getting lost (mistake) and I was supposed to meet the volunteers five minutes ago. I called the volunteer coordinator to have her give the tuk directions, but the house was yet illusive. The tuk must have asked 20 people for directions, and we were still just circling the neighborhood. The consensus among Phnom Penhers in the area seemed to be that this street could be in any direction. Eventually, after another phone call, I got there. Embarrassed and late, I apologized profusely, tucked my tail between my legs, and joined the volunteers.

Hot, but determined, I completed the three minute walk back to my place a few hours later. Gotta hit that first right turn!