Friday, January 13, 2017

Sense of direction

"Do you go to Sample?" The question from this 20-something guy sounded routine enough at first. And the obvious answer was Yes, since this bus was the 34 and spends all day going east and west on Sample Road. This type of question pops up on every route occasionally, from US 1 to 441 and beyond. We all make similar mistakes every day, so I don't make fun of these slips, but I do have fun with them.
"We sure do go to Sample! You're already here!" Then the realization comes, and we can figure out where on Sample he's trying to go.
"Going to US 1?" His second question immediately replaced my attempt at jest with sympathy. We were headed west and his destination was east. He needed the bus on the other side of the street, and it was passing by as we spoke. This wouldn't be an issue on a weekday, but today was Sunday and the next 34 wouldn't be by for awhile. Fortunately, it appeared to be servicing a stop, so I pointed it out and off he went, shuffling across the street in flip flops.
"No sense of direction." The observation came from another, older passenger who'd been watching. His comment assured me I was not the only one with a theory on suburban kids. There are generations of west Broward young people who are so far west they may have never smelled salty ocean air. Even though I'm a born-and-raised Eastsider, I personally disdain the beach because it's too sandy. Even so, the Atlantic is my first point of reference for direction. It is always due east, and with our generally north-south-east-west street grid there's no need for a compass to determine which way to turn. What reference point does someone in Coral Springs use to get their bearings?

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