Having no sense of direction, I have been lost many times. The most memorable and distressing experience was in the 1960s when I was in my early 20s.
Umberto and I had moved to Basel, Switzerland, after a brief sojourn in Hobart, Tasmania where Umberto worked for a term to give his notice, after a year in Italy. I arrived back in Switzerland a few weeks later than U. He had found us a wonderful floor of a quite eccentric looking old house in an outer suburb.
Umberto met me at the airport and took me to the university, where he’d begun another course. He decided to ride his bike and I was to follow him driving our NSU, two cylinder, Prinz car to our new home. Stupidly I didn’t ask for the address…
Following a bicycle isn’t the easiest thing in a large city. At one point, with the bike out of sight, I made a left turn. I’d been madly looking about not realizing I was turning into a road facing five lanes of traffic coming my way. As I turned I saw Bert cycling calmly over the bridge in the opposite direction. The policeman in the box was more amazed at my foolishness and did nothing, as I did a U-turn in front of the oncoming traffic. Unharmed, what a miracle!
When I finally drove over the bridge there was no bicycle to be seen. I drove on and eventually stopped in a street and let out those tears of humiliation and frustration. I just sat there and cried.
In those days there were no mobile phones, not even a telephone at the flat we were renting. There was no way of contacting him. Umberto suffered from bi-polar and we had very different logic.
Eventually he turned up on the bike. How he found me I have no idea, but it ended as happily as that episode could be expected to end.
Post Script: I am taking some time off from blogging. I have the grand children to stay and then I hope to follow through with yesterday’s post and attempt to do some illustration. I will be back one day to let you know how that goes.
I appreciate all of you and thank you to those who have wished me well. I will be back… I hope.
Wrong Turns: When was the last time you got lost? Was it an enjoyable, or a stressful one? Tell us about it. Ben Huberman