The Art of Getting Lost

At one point, I realised I had walked too far from the starting point. Two hours and a good number of smaller lanes later, my internal GPS gave out confusing reading. With the sun behind me, I still had no idea whether I was facing south or west.

When I had initiated the walk, I had got one thing in mind: let’s get lost.

So. I finally managed to get lost.

Hurray?

“Not really,” the ghost remarked.

I sighed.

It was easy to get un-lost in this city. Google Maps would come handy. The public transports were managed finely and orderly. Signposts containing directions, though in writings I barely understood, were also very easy to find, clear, and helpful. Upon learning that I travelled alone, with a little bit of local language and English, the receptionist had made sure I’d got the instructions to contact the Inn for help through phone, email, chat apps, and all.

“That sense of security sure takes the joy out of this trip,” he was apparently bored.

I nodded. Getting really lost here —the kind of lost that would incite anxiety and fear— was quite a task. That is why it is an art.

“We’ve passed that point twice,” he pointed out.

But let’s walk this lane again before it picks up more visitors. I would rather avoid crowds. There were already more people, some walking in groups, undeterred by the morning chill, which still cast its magic and kept people at bay. But not for long, I thought, as the warmth of sun intensified.

I reaffirmed my memory of things I had seen the first round. There was a flower shop here and another one over there. Did I really see green tulips? Right. There was a nice strong smell of something. Is it tisane? Herbs and spices? Soon I would be passing local delicacies shops that had been closed on my first run. Is it open now? Should I buy anything? I checked the clock on my phone.

At the junction at end of the lane, I weighed in whether to go straight, right or left.

“Go left if you still want to try to get lost. We haven’t walked through it.” Finally his voice betrayed a bit of excitement.

I tried not to smile.

Then left we go!

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