October 22, 2013

Technology can be unreliable when navigating a new city

By Hussam Rajhi–

Not only children get lost when they walk alone; adults might get lost too, especially in a city they just have moved to. One day, I went to Derby City Barber Shop and I got lost on my way back home.

I use always Google Maps to find the directions that I am looking for, and that is what happened on that sunny hot afternoon. I left my home, caught the bus, basically following Google step by step. When I got my hair cut, I got back on the bus and showed the driver my pass card. Everything was going very smoothly, but then all of the sudden my smart phone was dead and I left the bus anyway.

I was not afraid of getting lost, honestly, but I was wondering how long it would take to get home. I knew my home address, which was a good thing, but the bad thing was how to call a taxi since the taxies in this city are hard to stop on the streets. I probably knew that my home was on east side, but I could not figure out where was east because the sun was in the middle of the sky. I was really puzzled, and did not know what to do and where to go. After thirty minutes of searching and thinking, I decided to go back to the bus stop and take the same bus again.

The funniest part in my story is while I was waiting alone at the bus stop, a man pulled over his car near the curb, and asked me while he was putting his hand right over his eyes trying to avoid the sunlight.

“Could you please tell me how to go to Sixth Street?” he asked.

I spontaneously smiled and responded, “Actually I am lost too”.

He said with a full laugh, “So, it is better for us to come back from where we were.”

After approximately thirty minutes of waiting, the bus arrived. I got on the bus, but still did not know where to go. I stood in the front of the bus to see the streets clearly, holding the strap and looking for something familiar. While we were moving, I saw the gas station, which was near my home, so I pulled the yellow stop request three times in a row and got out from the bus.

It was a horrible day at the moment, but I forgot the whole story when I found my home. I learned how important it is to bring a map, written directions on a piece of paper or whatever device you rely on fully charged.


Image courtesy of Google Maps

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