Saturday, June 22, 2013

Upside Down in NYC

I'd like to think I'm reasonably intelligent. (Reasonably.) And generally speaking, I pride myself on having good navigational ability. I can read maps, and I'm not one of those people who loses their car in the shopping centre car park. In fact with family and friends, I'm usually the one relied upon to find the way back to the exit.

But something weird happens when I travel to the northern hemisphere. My usual sense of direction goes all loopy. Like, practically upside-down.

You know how the water drains down the plughole in the opposite direction in the northern and southern hemispheres? Well, let me add my little theory to this scientific fact. Human bodies are 90% water, right? (Actually a quick Google search tells me it's more like 70%, but still a lot, okay?) So doesn't it make sense that if water twists differently up here, then perhaps my body does too?

Cause there absolutely has to be a reason why I get lost so frequently when I'm overseas.

Yesterday, in New York, I managed to completely confuse myself with "Uptown" and "Downtown" on the subway. It seems pretty obvious, I guess. (Although I will say that the terms are used everywhere without even a hint of what they might mean to the unknowing traveller.)

The street numbering here goes up when you're headed "uptown". And down, when you're going "downtown". But for me, when I get on the uptown train, it FEELS like I'm going DOWNTOWN, i.e. south.

Am I a freak? Is there anyone out there doing research on this fascinating fact? I totally think scientists should get right on this. If only so they can invent a pill that can fix it. I'm totally sick of finding myself on the wrong train.

1 comment:

  1. No, you're not a freak! Although I usually retain a good sense of direction wherever I am, I often feel a disorientation. Eg. Darwin, Australia. Living in the south and on the southern ocean, when I go far north and look out over the sea towards the equator it's weird. Hard to explain but it does give the sense of a totally different place. And it
    s not about different vegetation etc. Something in the light perhaps?