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10 months ago
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Land of the Lost (Tourists) : I was standing on the corner of East Broughton and Drayton St, in Savannah, waiting patiently by the street sign for my boyfriend to come pick me up from work. Two older ladies appeared on the sidewalk holding out a paper map that was so large and unwieldy it took the both of them to hold it fully extended. Lady #1 to Lady #2: “They said that [Name of Well Known Hotel That’s A Block Away] is on [Close By Street] but I can’t find it on this map ANYWHERE!” Lady #1 points to section of map that was clearly nowhere near where they were standing as it was mostly blue and looked like water and we were pretty much in the center of downtown. Although I can’t see for sure I think she was pointing off towards South Carolina but the map flapping in the gusts of wind whipping around the street corner made it hard to see. Lady #2: “I can’t find [Close By Street] either! EXCUSE ME!” Lady #2 is trying to get someone’s attention to ask directions. This being a very busy corner she has a few choices of people to ask. There’s the young lady with varying shades of spiked green hair wearing a “Jesus is my Homeboy” tee shirt and shiny combat boots holding a half eaten sandwich and sporting a SCAD ID on a lanyard. There’s the couple walking briskly in matching business casual wear discussing the current local housing market and the influx of single family homes available for sale in the Victorian District. There’s me, standing in quiet amusement smoking a cigarette as they attempt to navigate a map I’m sure was last updated on 06. Hell, there was even the very agitated homeless man digging through the trash yelling “QUARTERS! QUARTERS!” But who does she pick to ask directions? A young couple strapping on their identical helmets who were attempting to mount a rental tandem bike with the front basket boldly announcing “Savannah Tourist Rentals”. Nailed it. Lady #2 to couple awkwardly trying to balance on the oversized bike: “Can you tell me where [Well Known Hotel That’s A Block Away] is? We’re not from around here!” Nooooo.... Guy on Bike looks at Lady on Bike and if you were to Google “confused facial expression” the looks on their faces would be a top result. Gamely trying to make sense of where they were in relation to where these women were try to go while simultaneously getting hit in the face by a flapping corner of the map, AND attempting to hold the two person bike up with zero help from Lady on Bike the man pointed off in the distance diagonally (obviously hedging his bets on direction) and mumbled something about “I think it’s in that direction”. Spoiler alert! It was not in that direction. In fact if the ladies had put the giant map down and looked just a little down the street they would have seen the wooden sign for the hotel hanging out over the sidewalk and a sharply dressed valet with the hotels logo on his jacket parking cars. Not usually one to get involved (I give enough directions on any given day) I decided that I would save everyone the time and effort it would take to stage a water rescue when these women’s map took them off the Talmadge Bridge and let them know that the hotel was literally 50 feet ahead of them. Me to Lady #1: “Ma’am? Excuse me but the hotel you are looking for is straight down [Right in Front of Your F&$king Eyes Street]” I say as I point directly towards the hotel sign. Lady #1 stares at me blankly and looks off in the direction I was pointing absently then turns back to me, then back towards the hotel, then back at me. Lady #2 says: “No! It says [Close By Street] is over here!” Points to [Almost in South Carolina Street]. “According to this Free-At-The-Welcome-Center-All-Advertising-Map the directions would be right at the 8’ cartoon shrimp holding an “All you can eat buffet” sign, a left at the bloody-fanged vampire hosting a ghost tour and a right at the city block that’s comprised solely of an ad for a local personal injury lawyer!” Ahhh yes I forgot it WAS close to Mike Hostelo Square... Lady #1 looks at me with a mixture of confused apathy that must have taken years of practice to perfect. A look that says “I talk to the little people but I don’t like it so I will subtly clutch my purse and back away slowly”. “Well I think we should follow the map, I have visited Savannah a few times and that makes me practically a local!” (FYI no it does not). Lady #2 to Lady #1: “Well let’s go the way you’re saying, we’re bound to run into it!” So, just for the record, the logic here is that Savannah operates much like a theme park in that if you continue to walk aimlessly, you will eventually stumble into what you’re looking for. Not quite. With that the ladies packed up their map and headed off in the totally wrong direction wondering loudly if Paula Deens’ restaurant was close by and if they could possibly get in because they both just Lovvvveee her. I say a silent prayer for their safety and briefly consider giving the Coast Guard the heads up to keep the water rescue chopper gassed up just in case, vowing to never give directions again. The real directions were “walk 50 feet straight ahead, stop”. Full Article

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