Someone asked Daniel Boone if he’d ever been lost . ” Aint never been lost , ” Boone , the explorer and frontiersman said , ” but I sure been confused for weeks at a time . ” And there you have it . Daniel Boone and I think alike . Well , he’s been dead for almost 200 years , but………..
Ada and I were looking for a free shuttle bus that she said would take us to the shopping area in Szczecin where we were headed . Turns out there actually was one , operated by a big-box store , despite my growing skepticism .
The shuttle stop was not in the spot where Ada led me . ” They must have moved it ,” she said , and we headed up the street to another likely spot . But it didn’t seem to be there either . Then she began to ask people for directions . Let me jump ahead a few steps and say that , maybe , just maybe , asking directions as a research method should perhaps be retired . Ask your smart phone where to go , instead . As our friend Mac would say : ” Just sayin’ “.
Once , a long time ago , my sister Margaret and I were in Dublin looking for a laundromat . When Ada and I were there in Dublin years later we looked for a pub with live music , for the Guinness brewery , for an affordable hotel , for St. Stephens green and Trinity College and the General Post Office and some other things ; but , we didn’t look for a laundromat .
We found the shuttle , by the way , Ada and I , as we left the store . We got to the store on the tram . It isn’t expensive , and we only had to walk a short distance from the tram stop to the store . We could have taken the shuttle back into the central city had we seen it in time . As it was, we spotted it after it was taking off . We were about three minutes late for the shuttle , so we walked back to the tram . There was a free shuttle , though , despite my doubts . Sometimes my skepticism gets away from me .
Ada had asked shuttle directions from a man who was waiting for a bus . He pointed up the street and mentioned a bus stop a few blocks up . At that stop Ada asked the next person , a woman waiting for a bus . People waiting for local busses seem to be likely knowers . This helpful woman pointed down the street ; said something , I guess , about making a left at the corner . Our shuttle stop would be right there .
It wasn’t .
Ada wasn’t giving up . She asked a couple of classily-dressed young women walking along just after we had made our left turn around the corner . They didn’t know about shuttles . Maybe they said maybe over there . I was obediently following Ada as she wanted ” to try one more place “. It was back down near where we’d begun asking directions , but across the main street . My feet were clopping along in persistent pursuit , but my morale had abandoned me a few hundred yards back . Ada said we’d ask once more .
” You can’t get there from here ,” is a punchline to an old joke . That line had popped into my brain and was beginning to taunt me .
We took the tram , eventually . No sweat , really . Beats asking another person who doesn’t know but is willing to try and help the two of us by giving directions .
Which brings me back to Dublin and looking for the laundromat . My sister and I had been travelling around Britain and Ireland long enough by that point to be a bit grubby . Use of the word ” bit” is a little self-courtesy and an understatement . Our clothes needed a wash —– let’s just leave it at that .
” Oh , the laundromat …….” The woman was looking here and there ; thoughtful ; intent . ” Right . You go over the bridge there …….” She pointed in that ” wee bit down the road ” Irish point which could mean a short distance but more likely meant a hell of a long walk down the road . ” And then , better ask someone , ” she said .
When we found the aforementioned bridge we asked someone . ” Oh . Right . You go there , over the bridge , ” he said , ” and then best ask anyone . ” Wide Irish smile ; finger pointing to the side of the bridge from where we had just come . Happy to help a couple of lost tourists . So we waited a few moments , and when our second savior had walked away , we asked a third person .
” What’s a laundromat ? ” she asked . My sister explained . ” Oh. What you want is a washateria ! ” she said . She was right . What we wanted was a washateria , and she pointed one out to us ; closeby , too ; no bridge-crossing was involved . The first two direction-givers , happy to help , had no idea what a laundromat was , none whatsoever . But , of course , we hadn’t asked for the washateria .
I don’t have a smart phone . I certainly don’t have one like my friend Dan’s . His answers him when he voices a question . I doubt whether a smart phone cares enough about you to try to help you out, no matter what , when you’re lost . I suspect that if the smart phone doesn’t have the slightest clue where your intended destination is , it’ll say so . Something gained and something lost .