Reminders Of Our Shortcomings


Well, every so often I get a hint of my inabilities. It is daunting, and tells me that I need to be careful not to be too confident.

I made an appointment to visit a new venue tonight – in our city but not on the beaten track. At least not beaten for me – it is a pub that is apparently down a lane from a main street. I foolishly thought that I could find it in the dark on the strength of a Google Earth view and some telephone instructions.

I could not. The fact that tonight is the eve of the Easter break and everyone was rushing away from the office in the dark did not help, nor did the fact that my eyesight is not sharp under these conditions. Not much chance of street parking either.

$ 10 lost in a blind underground car park, lifts that were shut off, doors that were locked, and three laps of the block in question all yielded nothing – and I decided to cut for home. In the rush hour traffic. I think the only thing missing that would have made the thing more memorable would have been an infestation of lice.

After cooling my feet in a dry martini at home and finishing up some paperwork, I came to the conclusion that after-dark ventures to places that are busy, dangerous, or unknown to me are a bad prospect – and I will do well to avoid them. I have managed to wander successfully in Tokyo, Melbourne, and Sydney after dark, but in each case I prepared for the expedition with a good map and a daytime recce – and I went on foot. This will be the way of the future – that or stick to daytime travel.

Note – the single worst travel experience that you can have is searching for someone’s house in an unfamiliar suburb at dusk when all the enraged householders are driving home frantically. They know where to go and you do not – and they take out their frustrations on you.



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