Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Turn right at Bass Pro...

There is a book by Ted Conover -- Coyotes -- in which he travels with a group of undocumented agriculture workers and documents their experience.  He asks: how do they navigate around the U.S. to get from say working apples in Washington State to working citrus in Florida?  And is answered something like "we drive east until it warms up, then make a right when we see the old man with a beard".  A cross-country odyssey that hinges on spotting the correct Colonel Sanders, then turning right.

I've got papers and I work in e-commerce, but we do have this in common:  I travel a lot for work too.  Most of my trips take me through Houston.  And for me, the mental map of the world is understood in relation to the Bass Pro Shop in Houston airport.  My big question is:  "... do I turn right or left at the Bass Pro shop to reach the gate for ____ ?"


  1. Tell me about it, navigation in the US is on a need to know basis. Road signs and street names are obscured. Directions back to the highway to get out of the city are non existent. Exits are marked last minute or with a tiny shield after the exit. One would have to drive with binoculars on the dashboard to figure out what lane to choose.
    At least in California its very bad, you have to have a GPS to get around and even then its hard.
    Oh and think twice before you exit to get gas or take a break there might not be an onramp to get back without making a big D tour...

    Unlike Europe. I can put you in a car point in a direction and tell you how to get from Maastricht to Schiphol Airport with just a few words and you will find it.

    End Rand.

  2. As a directionally challenged individual (put me in a paper bag turn it around I could not get out) I absolutely depend on landmarks like turn right at the KFC, 2 lights past the Orchid shop. Much to the total mirth of my family who are thankfully not directionless challenged.