This winter has been hard on everyone, everywhere.
Too much snow in places that don't see a lot of it,
drought on the West Coast.
The rivers here are over-running their banks
while others are going dry.
The world is full of people with serious problems.
The TV news doesn't even begin to describe
the range of ecological, biological
and political issues that face us.
In comparison, I am a simple woman
with decidedly First World problems.
Today, I will go to swim, determined to make up
the time lost due to weather-related cancellations
of our practices, while other folks just try to survive
another day. I remind myself of this reality
every time I start to bitch. Well, I do most of the time.
Last Saturday, the practice usually held at North Central
High School was held instead at Warren Central,
on the far east side of town. I left home at 6 a.m. to
catch the bus downtown where I would catch another bus
that'd take me to the 9500 block of East 21st Street.
From there I would just walk a half-mile south
to the high school to make the 9 a.m. session.
Easy peasy, right? Right.
Fucking Google maps.
The Indygo transit system website links to
Google maps to show viewers routes to their
destinations. I'd used the website to plan my trip,
allowing about thirty minutes to find the correct building
and to change into my swimsuit. The ride to the
east side of town was okay. I got off the bus
near the 9500 block were I expected to find a cross
street that would take me south to the school.
Nah-dah. Instead, I found myself in an older housing
development made up of 1960's ranch homes
sited along winding side streets. I could see the high
school through the trees and roof tops, but I could not
reach it because every road leading from the street
I was on was actually a cul-de-sac, a dead end.
I suppose I should have known that, when the gray line
on the map describing the walk from the bus line
to the school ended in a squiggle, it wasn't
to describe a round-about but was instead
showing a knot of its own confusion.
Frustrated, I walked west, back to Post Road, the
last north-south intersection I had passed on the bus.
Dogs barked at me from their yards, large bite-osaureses
warning me of their intent to eat the middle-aged
woman who'd entered their territory.
Their woofing declarations were taken up by
their canine neighbors along the way as I walked
the half-mile back to the intersection, then
south another half mile to Sixteenth Street, then east
AGAIN! repeating the half mile to the school.
Of course, I was very late to practice, but I did get
to swim for a while. The pool was very nice,
I saw some nice people, and I got an additional bit of
exercise in the form of three miles of walking.
But I hated being late and was embarrassed that
my First World dependence on an e-map
had influenced my poor decision.
Effing Google maps.