Last night, my husband and I got back from ten days in Germany. We visited a friend of mine from college whom I haven’t seen in about three years and lives in Munich. One of the most ridiculous experiences of this trip was trying to go to dinner at my friend’s house.
There are a couple of problems right off the bat:
- We didn’t know his address, so we couldn’t ask someone for directions.
- We didn’t have wifi (or cellular service), so we couldn’t text my friend with useful information like “we are late” or “we are lost” or “help!”.
Funnily enough, we have already been to his house, but seeing as how he took us on the metro all the way there the last time, our sense of direction is a little shaky.
We remembered the metro stop and got there. Whew. We came out of the station and looked around; nothing looked familiar. So we picked a direction and started walking, because what else are we going to do. Luckily, we found ourselves in front of the grocery store we went to the last time. We stood around in front of it for awhile when–all of a sudden–we realized we took an underground passage next (it’s been right in front of us the whole time, of course).
At this point we realized that this whole experience was ridiculous because (obviously) we were going to end up running out of familiar landmarks or wandering around an unfamiliar neighborhood. But we were feeling bolstered by two correct choices in a row, so we carried on! When we get out from the underground passage, my husband recognized the fire department we walked by because my friend said that it was the second largest fire station in the city. When we go to the corner, we saw another familiar building and were about to cross the street when we notice someone barreling towards us on a bicycle (this is not that uncommon in Germany–people bike everywhere and there are bike lanes on every sidewalk). As he got closer, we notice that it is my friend’s boyfriend! Our savior! He found us, and we were even going in the right direction!
Moral of the story: Get directions, or at least an address, before wandering around in a foreign country.