The Long Walk

Ahh… It was Saturday. My first official day here all by my lonesome. My friend is off for the week, working at his house to get it ready for spring.

I was pretty happy, though. I felt I could really use the alone time to get rested, and get focused on my new world. I was still pretty damned tired from all the travel and general disorientation. Its not jetlag when you simply haven’t had enough sleep yet.

I wanted to be sure that I could find work from the flat. A shuttle was scheduled to pick me up on Monday, and take me to work, but you never know. I was told it is about a 25 minute walk in. Hah! I thought. Simple! I set out. The first thing I discovered was the general lack of sidewalks. The road I had to go on is major, and didn’t have much of a shoulder. Sometimes there was a curb, sometimes not. The lanes are pretty narrow, and drivers are used to that sort of thing. While walking on the shoulder, not too far in as to avoid the worst slop, cars were whizzing past at a good clip. And if I were directly on the shoulder, it certainly didn’t bother them to come with in 6 inches of me. Thankfully, SUV’s with large jutting mirrors reaching to take more than their due are not so common. (Fuel is ~1.40KM/L or near $4/gal.)

One mystery to me is the amount of small gravel on the roadside. Truly. I can see dirt and such, but all these small rocks, not quite pebbles, are odd to me. I mean, where do they come from? Hm.

I had a fair idea where I was going, but no notion of distances. I knew I had to turn at a major intersection near what I called ‘the bridge thing.’ It is actually some drainage area, but from a vehicle it gave me the impression the road was an abstract bridge. From there, I had to go to ‘Tropic,’ the grocery store/eatery. From there, I just had to look for this alley lined by trees like a tunnel, and containing large muddy puddles. From there I should be able to recognize the direction. I remember not having much choice in the matter.

Well, I got to Tropic, pretty Ok. No real issues, except for dirty boots. Then the fun began. I couldn’t figure out where the alley was, I just knew it was very close to the store. I walked around the entire block, testing out each street for 5 minutes or so, trying to see if anything was familiar. I found the OSCE office quite by accident. It was my last street before I gave up and headed back. I was all excited I recognized some graffiti on a building. (A giant face.) I walked another building, and PAM, there it was.

Total trip. Maybe 1 hour. Maybe 1:15. I dunno. I checked some email and that sort of thing.

Posted by Andrew     

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