Daily Prompt: Wrong Turns. When was the last time you got lost? Was it an enjoyable experience, or a stressful one? Tell us all about it.
How funny to return home in the last hour to this prompt! We just got lost in the back alleys of Kathmandu, which was quite an adventure….
Kathmandu at night just closes down, and as the shutters from shops descend at the end of the day, things get very dark. There isn’t a street light in the whole city. It is sort of mesmerizing and scary at the same time. Not really scary in a way that you might fear other people, but scary because you can’t see where you are going in a city where sidewalks have missing paving stones, giant holes, obstacles, dog poop, and gutters with 12 inch drops.
Fortunately we were driving. So it was the driver who feared making a wrong move…which he did by turning right too soon. I knew that…but then I presumed he knew something I didn’t, which is often the case for me. I was wrong ( and he was wrong too), so we got lost. The road grew narrower and narrower and the crazy thing about Kathmandu alleys is that driving down them sort of feels like some kind of computer game. At every turn you see the dead end of a brick wall ahead, and is only when you are upon it that you realize that the road still continues by winding left or right around someone’s property. It always looks like a dead end for sure…but suddenly there’s still a way out…at least most of the time. The organic way that the city developed means that roads were never laid out and no space was ever planned for vehicles. The roads just wind their independent way around whatever property they come across. I lost all sense of direction in no time.
On and on we wound, until finally we turned right towards the main road and there it was….a giant dug up ditch the size of the whole street. Piles of dirt lined its edges and concrete drainage pipes sat waiting to be laid inside. It was completely impossible to pass. We couldn’t back up, so we turned left. On and on we wound some more, only this time we were heading in the wrong direction, at least I thought so. My internal compass isn’t great at the best of times, but in the dark, down endless alleys, it was hopeless. After about another ten turns, there was another car in front of us, heading in the opposite direction. It wasn’t going to back up..so we had to.. and we backed up around corners –much to the entertainment of onlookers – for about 50 yards until the road was wide enough for two vehicles to pass. Phew! And finally…God bless him… the driver found his way out of the maze and back onto the main street again. We laughed and it was an adventure. But I don’t need to do it again soon.
So that was my Wednesday night, how was yours?!