Today I had to go pay a bill and send money to Omar's parents. I got lost in the process. Lima is so big, and the streets all twist around and most of them don't have street signs anymore. I have a hard time telling my directions here, even when the sun is out, and today is so GRAY that no shadows are cast, so I can't even tell where NORTH is. Anyway, I asked directions to the National Bank from about 10 people - I'm finally getting where I can ask for and take directions, but because there are no street signs, no one gives the name of the street nor the block number. If they could just say "go straight on San Filipe for 5 blocks, turn right there on Carnaval, then go left 3 more blocks and that will put you on Mariategui", I would be just fine. But no. Everyone says "go walking for 15 minutes to the front, then when you see a church on the right, turn left. Five more blocks walking will put you close. The bank is on the spine of the block. Just remember that." Walking fifteen minutes? On my legs or yours? Is my 15 minutes going to put me close to where you think I should be turning? Hmmm. So I go walking the the front for about 10 minutes. I see a church and turn left. I walk five more blocks. No bank. Ask in a store. The storekeeper says, "cross the street and go walking to the front. The bank is on the spine." I cross the street and walk to the front. That puts my in the middle of a huge complex of apartment buildings, with the security guards giving me the eyeball. I ask one of them where the bank is. He says "Keep walking to the front. The bank is on the spine of the block." I keep walking and I get out of the apartment complex. Ooops, dead end. Ask at a news stand. They twirl their fingers in the air, indicating turning a turn or a twirl. I look all around, spin around, look back at the newspaper vendor, who twirls her fingers in the air again. So I go walking to the front in a different direction. I turn a corner and there is an entire community of banks in a strip mall, among them is the bank that I need.
The trip home was much easier. After asking for directions to Salaverry from two people, I caught a taxi.
Simple. Just go walking to the front. Remember that the bank is on the spine.
I think it must be similar for Celeste. I'm always throwing her toy across the room and saying "Go get the TOY." I point. She turns her head and looks in the direction that I'm pointing. She sees the white tip of her tail curled over her back and goes for THAT. I point again. She spins around, looking for the TOY. I say, "go walking to the front for ten steps and look on the spine..." Then I twirl my fingers. I can tell by the look on her face that it's totally clear...as mud. Both of us are obviously NORTHERN girls.