Thursday, November 17, 2016

Asking for Direction

Karlo  Vivary

Although I'm usually equipped with a street map, I prefer to ask for direction whenever I'm in a new place.People are always willing to help, and it creates a real kind of interaction with the local people.

Once, in Durban, South Africa, I wished to visit the famous indian market, so I asked someone who seemed to  to be of indian descent (there's a large indian community in this city) to direct me to my desired destination.

He said to me: "you're on the right street; it's a  long street but just keep going straight and looking down. By the quantity of litter on the pavement, you'll know when you're close to the indian market". His words about the litter made me smile and put me into a good mood.

In Bucharest, Romania, there's the museum of the Village,  and the museum of the romanian Peasant.  The first is an open air museum displaying rural homes, the other one displays traditional costumes, ceramic,wood ,and iron objects of rural Romania.

For some reason, (probably because both deal with rural aspects) I confused the two, asked the wrong question and reached the wrong place, but as a result of this confusion I got to visit both museums. My gain and pleasure.

In Karlo Vivary, the Czech republic, I almost lost the last bus back to Prague. Here I felt for the first time the meaning of language barrier. People got me in such a mess with their inaccurate  directions, that even the street map couldn't save me.The signs everywhere were in the czech language only.

For a woman alone it could be dangerous to ask for help on the street, but one has to use one's common sense and know how to avoid certain people and situations.


  1. Wonderful experiences, Duta.

    Just last week when I stopped to see if we reached our destination, I was asked if I was looking for Eden, or perhaps the speaker said Aiden, I couldn't quite tell. But no, I was looking for Hickatee Cottages and had turned off the road too soon. Now I will never know if we missed a chance to stay in Eden. The final destination, however, was peaceful and serene and was very much enjoyed by my husband and me.

  2. Wilma,

    Perhaps the guy wanted to sound humorous; you asked about destination, he referred to Final destination- the good one, Eden. I'm glad you found what you were looking for and enjoyed the place.

  3. I always enjoy to ask people for directions as well and in case of a language barrier I do try to find a city map. I went to Prague as well on a bus trip from Holland. We had our own guide but went into the city by bus but had received instructions. I absolutely loved Prague what a beautiful and interesting city.

  4. When you're with a guide or an organized tour - that's another matter. Someone else takes care of almost everything.
    Prague is indeed an amazing city, well worth a visit.

  5. If you ask directions in rural America you are bound to hear directions like< "Take a left at the pasture, go west..." I'm more lost than when I started. I admire that you travel so much.
    And how nice to have the added bonus of an extra visit.

  6. Actually I don't travel much. I used to when I was younger, and the best memories are from solo travelling. When you're on your own, evertything that happens is an experience with a lesson to learn from.

  7. Duta, you're talking with someone who is not good with directions at all. I admire you visiting here and there on your own and getting to where you're going, even if you do have to ask for directions. As I was reading the stories about your travels, I thought "how wonderful that she has explored so many areas." Good for you, Duta. :)


  8. Red Rose Alley,

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Well, as I said, asking for directions is a way of getting in touch with the local people, and that in itself is a life experience, whether they manage to help you find what you're looking for or not. Sometimes, people are so kind that they don't just explain to you how to get from a to b, they go with you all the way until you reach your destination.

  9. Hi One Fly,

    Good to hear from you. Thank you for the kind words.

  10. Duta, on the comment, it's time for people to get together and forgive the past. So many families are separated. Life is so short and wounds should be healed for everyone's sake. All we have is Family.

    Hugs to you dear. Yvonne
    The post was great today I encountered a wonderful salesgirl that took me across the huge store to find an item. Some people are lovely.

  11. La Petite Gallery,

    You're referring to my comment on your last post. Indeed, Yvonne, all we have is family and we should all gather at least during holidays.

    So, the salesgirl gave you the direction you needed in the huge store. You asked for an item, she gave you the direction to find it. It's a bit like asking for direction in the city.

  12. Whenever my sister and I travel anywhere we like to do the same, ask people for directions or for a good place to eat or get coffee. Many times it's led us to little out of the way places we never would have thought to go to. Glad you are enjoying some travelling but definitely be careful!

  13. Alicia,

    Oh, you and your sister Lisa - what a wonderful team! You two can go anywhere and get to all sorts of places. You're perfect for travelling together. Keep on doing that!

  14. After taking a wrong turn, we once asked a man in the middle of nowhere, in Alabama, out plowing with his mule, how to get to a military park, he scratched his head, and said: "I don't think you can get there from here." It was many years ago and we've never forgotten it!
    Asking for directions definitely can make life interesting. And most of the time, it's good advice as you have found out. I definitely asked directions many times in Europe. People are pretty much the same everywhere in trying help. Have an interesting day, Duta!

  15. Pam,

    I believe you; one doesn't easily forget a wrong turn, if at all. Indeed, when it comes to the people on the street, they are the same everywhere; trying to help, giving advice, making conversation.

  16. What a delightful tale! I like what you say, you do meet people asking directions!

  17. Jenn Jilks,

    With all the technology that surrounds us, contact with the person on the street is still a nice, rewarding experience.

  18. Good post Duta. The first thing that pops out at me is the fun in exploring and asking directions connects with locals. I was in china once and got lost. Everyone I asked had no idea I needed help. No one spoke English and so people nodded and smiled at me. At first I was afraid but somehow figured out how to get back to the hotel.

  19. Nikki (Sarah),

    Thank you.
    I think, when going abroad we should have with us some little phrase book which could save us when in need, as language barrier can be very disturbing in certain places.

  20. I'm laughing as I've been in the same situation! I'm kinda shy about asking people in other countries because I feel horrible that I don't speak their language. Now there an APP for that. Citymapper. Just download it for free from the APP STORE. But I think the GPS on our phones works that way as well ?????

  21. Marsha Splenderosa,

    Yes, we all encounter language barrier situations, and it is sometimes embarassing. Thanks for the Citymapper tip.

  22. Your so right about asking for directions! It gives contact with the locals. You have traveled a lot! The litter is funny way to give directions

  23. Hi Kim,

    When we're in a strange place, and especially if the signage is in a foreign language - we do what we can; meaning, we ask local passersby to help us get where we want. People are usually nice and willing to help; sometimes they're even funny.