Thursday, December 07, 2006


I confess. I like to give directions.

Luckily, in this town, I get plenty of opportunities. My office is near a metro stop that is close to the Mall, but from which you cannot see the Mall. Many couples, families, cute German guys, get mired in a sea of anonymous office buildings and have to ask me how to get to the Air and Space Museum.

It never ceases to amaze me that so many people ask me for directions. Every place in the world I've ever been, people have asked me for directions. Sitting on a suitcase in a train station in Italy; walking down Brooklyn Ave. in Seattle (on several occasions); on the street in Jerusalem; by a bunch of Japanese teenagers in Paris. I've been asked for directions when I'm on my bike, waiting at a red light, or by someone in car crossing my path, causing me to stop. Do I look like I know where I'm going? Maybe it's just that I seem safe to approach.

Today, on my way back from coffee, I was stopped by two men wearing suits and rolling small computer bags who asked for directions to the Treasury Department. I said, "Well, you're in SW now, but I'm pretty sure it's in NW." I remembered my friend who worked for the IRS and I said, "I think my friend used to work there and it's definitely not around here. You know, all of us, all the departments, have offices in places other than the main building. Your friend might be working around here. I'd probably want to check on that before hiking all the way across the Mall."

"You're right! Thanks so much."

"Sorry I couldn't be more help."

I'm such a dope--the Treasury Department is right next to the White House. I know that. At least I had the quadrant right.

Oddly, perhaps, I don't like to ask for directions. When I travel, I bring a map. Those people who like to give directions? They're usually wrong. Not me, of course. As I've stated many times, I am always right about everything.

(Owen update: he emailed today about our weekend plans (we have a couple of parties to attend). I was pleased.)

Grateful for: the chance to help people.

Drop me a line.

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