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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I once was lost....

I have no sense of direction. I can get lost in my own town, which is a pretty good trick since it's less than two miles across. I get it from my father, I think, who blames it on being left-handed, although I don't quite see the connection.

So FINALLY I broke down and got a GPS. It's not a good one, I mean it's good enough, but not a top of the line, name brand-y type of GPS.

Sometimes I don't understand why it routes me the way it does - for example on a trip back to New Jersey from New England it took me on some kind of meandering tour through all of the Bronx - but it gets me where I need to go one way or another. It gives me a lot of peace of mind because getting lost is something I find very frustrating and sometimes frightening.

But mostly it's just SO FREAKING COOL! The fact that this little hunk of metal and plastic can know where it is at any given moment and can tell me how to get wherever I want to go, and how long it will take nearly blows my mind. I feel like Buck Rodgers or something with a little sidekick that actually talks to me.

The future is here...and it's saying take a left in 500 ft.

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At 9:10 AM, Blogger Rafi G. said...

just be careful. In Israel it has been known to take people to mighty nasty areas....

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Elie said...

Boy do I relate to this! I have gotten lost in parking lots - literally. I can follow directions as long as they are mathematical - e.g., go 1.2 miles and then turn right - but I have zero innate sense of direction, and can't do "spacial relationships" in my head to save my life. I especially have problems reversing directions - e.g., if I turned right going to somewhere, I will automatically turn right again when returning, instead of left. So our GPS is invaluable, on any trip where I don't know *exactly* how to get there and back.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Oddly I'm very good at some types of spacial relationships (like getting any combination of items packed into my small trunk.) But I cannot visualize space that I cannot see. I don't understand the relationships between roads and even translating between reading a map and driving can be difficult.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The future is here...and it's saying take a left in 500 ft."

You really should get one that can say the street names. ;-)

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

It does! Actually that's one of my favorite parts, listening to how it will pronounce or mis-pronounce street names.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Shira Salamone said...

You, too? It's nice to know that I'm not the only who exits the highway going in the wrong direction and gets to a Bar Mitzvah celebration half an hour later than expected. If I ever end up moving to a place where I need a car, I will definitely invest in a GPS device, to preserve what's left of my so-called sanity.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Baila said...

I have a really good sense of direction. Most of the time I instinctively know that if I want to get to a certain place I have to move in a certain direction. What gets me is the East, West, North, South thing. If someone uses that in a direction, I always ask if they mean right or left.

Oh, and welcome back.

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Ariella's blog said...

Personally, I am very quick to ask someone for directions. But I suppose a GPS can feel empowering.
Nice to see you're blogging again. I hope you've gotten on the track you want for work.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Eliyahu said...

"...but now am found." glad to have found you before the GPS took you through the nasty areas of... Brooklyn. "Turn left in 50 feet for mitzvah opportunity!" hmmm....

At 7:09 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Ariella - Empowering is really the right word, it makes me feel less fearful and more adventurous.

At 1:42 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...

>I have no sense of direction

That's OK, women in general have that problem.

I suggest you get one of those GPS gadgets, they can really.......oh....nevermind.

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

A GPS would make me feel less empowered, although my wife would love one. I like getting lost, and I like exploring new routes. I think if I had a GPS I'd be less prone to be distracted on my way to somewhere new, and that would be disappointing.

For lots of people they would be and are a wonderful thing, it just isn't something that I'm desperate to acquire for myself.

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Tzipporah said...

you're back, you're back! Is it the GPS that helped you find your blog again? ;-}

I had a great innate sense of direction til we moved from the East Coast to the West. After 5 years, it's finally intuitive that the ocean is to the West, and the mountains are to the East. But every once in a while the sun still rises on the wrong side, which just throws me off for days...

Sorry to ehar about the separation. That seems to be happening a lot on the blogosphere right now. Hopefully it will give you a chance to re-find yourself and your life, and move in the right direction... (ok, I'll stop with the metaphors now).

Glad you're back.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger RaggedyMom said...

Who knew you were a fellow lefty? And welcome back!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Shifra said...

Sorry only my dad is a lefty!
I didn't make it into that club :(

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shifra: You sound like a guy!

Women know how to read maps and ask directions....guys love cool gadgets, especially those which help them AVOID asking directions


(And welcome back!)

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Jew dead!


Why do these stories keep getting swept under the rug? The frum community has a substance abuse problem. Wake up and address it!

Or is everyone waiting until it happens to MY child?

At 10:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jewinmyheart -

As I mentioned in the other place I saw you posted this, obviously it is not being swept under the rug by the Orthodox - Hamercaz.com IS an ORTHODOX news site and they are reporting it.

What more do you want? People like you love accusing the Orthodox establishment of cover-ups and conspiracies even when there is none going on.

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...


Lehefech, I have yet to meet a woman that can read a map, hence, THEY need the gadgets.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Elie said...

Lehefech, I have yet to meet a woman that can read a map, hence, THEY need the gadgets.

OK, now you're making me think of a line from a comedienne I truly despise (and who's gone completely loony of late), Roseanne. But the line was very funny, though rather off-color for this family blog!

I guess it's up to the hostess if I should say any more...

At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used one for the first time this past week and I was blown away. No going back to mapquest now.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger Shifra said...

Go ahead elie, I trust you, just bl**p any curses.

At 2:25 PM, Blogger Elie said...

OK Shifra, you're the boss! No curses, but a PG-13 humor warning:

Q: Why can't women read maps?

A: Because only the male mind can imagine one inch equaling ten miles.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger littlejerseygirl said...

After riding in the car with my father-in-law who has a GPS, my kids sit in my back seat and in a trance-like robotic voice say "make a right turn in 100 feet" and "you have arrived at your destination". It's kinda disturbing but it cracks me up.

At 7:44 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...

>A: Because only the male mind can imagine one inch equaling ten miles.

I don't get it

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Looking Forward said...

elie, how much is a mile and how much is an inch?

I'm great with relative relationships or with perfect squares, but anything else and I get freaked out.

and the north south east west thing also freaks me out. I have to sit and think about it for a while and go "here is the sun" "its in the after noon" "the bridge to the next state to the north is to my right, therefore east is left?

oh dear. :(

At 5:52 PM, Blogger RivkA with a capital A said...

You wrote about the futuristic sense... so I read your last line:

"....take a left at 500 ft."


At 2:16 AM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Sweet And Low


Sweet and low, sweet and low,

Wind of the western sea, ,

Low, low, breathe and blow,

Wind of the western sea!

Over the rolling waters go,

Come from the dying moon, and blow,

Blow him again to me;

While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.


Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,

Father will come to thee soon;

Rest, rest, on mother's breast,

Father will come to his babe in the nest,

Silver sails all out of the west

Under the silver moon;

Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

-----by age of conan

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Holy Hyrax said...

I think Shifra got lost again

At 3:11 PM, Blogger BaruchAttta said...

For years, I was under the impression that walking DOWN Yeheskil away from Geula is going South. And walking from Geula to Rehov Yaffo is North.

In any event, it still worked, and I could find my way anywhere.


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