This week’s “Lesson learned…”

or There’s always a pub when you need one

As I mentioned last week, I spent some time in Manchester before heading back home to NYC. Arriving late on Saturday (having explored the lovely town of Chester with a friend) and then flying out Monday afternoon, I really just had 1 day to explore the city. Since I’ve already related my day’s adventures in condiment-land, I’ll skip to the events of that evening…

Though I’d had absolutely no trouble getting from my rented room to the metro station, I don’t know if it was because jet lag was finally catching up with me or what, but when I tried to return ‘home’, I became completly and utterly lost. My first mistake was not paying close attention to the “Stop” announcements–did they just announce “Trafford Bar” or “Old Trafford” station? I still don’t know at which one I descended and, technically, this shouldn’t have been a major issue, since, according to a map I’d seen earlier, I should feasibly have been able to walk home from either. But I didn’t have that map with me, so I pulled out my (non) smart phone which I discovered is not gps equipped, only to discover that it was almost dead. Briefly glancing at the map before having to shut off the phone, my head was filled with a swirl of strange street names and muddled directions of north, south, west, east.

Back in NYC I can pretty much tell you how to get anywhere you need to go thanks to a wonderful thing called: “the grid“. But, take me off said grid and, as I quickly discovered to my utter chagrin, my sense of direction evaporates–completely. So that is how I found myself, in the dark, wandering around Old Trafford without any sense of where I was. It was finally when I ended up alongside a major roadway and then a Kellog’s plant, I figured I should prolly start looking for someone from whom to ask directions or find a cab. But, though I kept walking and walking, past small storefronts (all closed), groups of post game football fans (either too drunk or too upset to give me proper directions) and cars whizzing by–no taxis came into sight.

It should be noted that, in NYC taxis are the saviors to lost and wearied tourists (and sometimes locals)–as long as you have 2 cross streets and 1st manage to hail a cab, you can easily get back to civilization (er Manhattan). In Old Trafford I found, this is not quite the case, as cabs must be called, literally, on one’s phone and don’t cruise around searching for their next fare. As my own mobile was almost out of juice(plus I had no idea what number to dial) the chances of me getting a cab were most slim. Hungry and weary, I kept trudging along until, suddenly–salvation! A pub filled with post game revelers, their cheers and songs spilling out into the night.

Hallelujah I was saved! Everyone knows that where there’s a bar, there’re drunk people (unfit to drive), which means there are also cabs. As I stumbled into the pub (oh, irony) the bartender took one look at me, easily figured that I wasn’t in there for a drink and courteously dialed “New Moon” car service for me, who swiftly arrived in about 7 minutes.

Climbing into the back of the cab, I prayed that the ride home wouldn’t be terribly expensive, I mean, I’d walked for hours, surely I was in the middle of nowhere…or at least I assumed, until after 5 quick turns, the cabbie pulled up to my flat and wished me a good night.

A few things…

1.) Check out Graphic Medicine’s new online home & read all about the success of the symposium “GM: Visualizing the Stigma of Illness” at Thought Bubble UK 2011.

2.) Be sure to read Katie Green’s lovely recap of her participation and “thoughts” regarding Thought Bubble

and…3rd one’s the charm: Get a more cerebral/logical viewpoint on comics amongst the many articles over at Comics Forum

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