The Hole In My Afternoon


To wander. It’s my favorite thing to do when I travel. Wander here, wander there. Meander. Get lost on my own terms.

Today is Sunday. Sunday’s are a sort of free day for me as the neighborhood library is not open, which makes a big hole in my afternoon. Since I decided to love Berkeley a few months ago – it’s no secret I used to hate it – I’ve filled the big holes in my Sundays by doing a little exploring.

Someone the other day mentioned that they do morning walks a lot through The Uplands – a neighborhood up the street that pretty much lives up to its name – nice, big houses, pleasant scenery, and a few chickens just to make sure the rest of us know that the residents aren’t too uppity.

Usually in a case like this, I would just start off walking, seeing whatever was along the way. Today I decided to try it out with a map, or something. I searched on google and found directions for a path walk through that neighborhood. Oh, what fun – I shall try it like a tourist might – map and directions in hand.

I got lost on the first block. It went downhill from there.

A “wrong turn” sent me to the end of the play-by-play walk and while the directions were pretty explicit, even trying to walk the directions backwards sent me two-stepping and backtracking all over the neighborhood. It was an experiment on my part, this following the directions thing – something I never ever do.

* * * * *

I often wonder about people who insist on traveling with maps and directions and reservations, with constant connections being made or missed, depending on whether or not the directions were followed or the maps ignored. I couldn’t handle an afternoon of it – how can people make whole trips that way?

The hole in my afternoon ended with a little bit of frustration and a little bit of laughing at myself, and a little bit of happiness when I finally sat down at my evening cafe table.

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