Friday, May 17, 2013

Follow those tracks!

I learned an important lesson while living in Germany.  When you never drive and just use mass transit, your entire way of thinking as to how to navigate the city completely changes.

One day at the Linde office on Bodenbacher Str, the Project Manager, an affable Englishman, and excellent engineer ,offered to take me home in his car.  I was just a lowly engineer and was not allowed to have my own car.  So I just used the buses and trams to get around.

We got in his car and we drove off.  At the exit of the complex he asked "So, which way?"

That's when I realized.  I didn't know.  By this time I have traveled back and forth every day for the last 6 months to work and home.  But I didn't know how to get home by car.

I asked for his map and started to franctically figure it out.  Turn here.  Right, no left!

The way was awkward and twisting.  Certainly, not the most efficient GPS generated route.

Then we landed on a street and I recognized the tram tracks.  "There! Follow those tracks!  I know where I am now!"

And sure enough.  We made it to my house.

By mass transit, I could jump from tram to bus with the greatest of ease, finding myself anywhere I wanted.  But by car?  Forget it.

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