this too
Friday, February 25, 2005

Late for work because a group of tourists waylaid me in the snow and asked for directions. This happens constantly. I’m a middle-aged woman with a round pink face and mild blue eyes. I have ‘harmless’ written on my forehead. I can see them scan the crowd and decide I’m the least intimidating person in sight. It irks me, to tell the truth. What’s more, their instinct is unsound. I have no sense of direction and plot my paths around central London, even after 25 years, by trial and error. I probably sent them the wrong way.
Hey, maybe you should take it as a compliment: you're a woman who looks like you know where you're going! :-)

When I first moved to Boston in the '90s, I was often stopped by passersby looking for directions. Since I was new to the city, I often didn't know how to help them...but to a man, these folks always said, "But you don't *look* like a newcomer!"

I guess I learned early on how to fake it! :-)
Well their instinct that you know your way around may be unsound but their instinct that you are a kindly, non-threatening person to approach and ask seems pretty spot on, to me. Have you looked around at people? Who would *you* feel safe to ask, if you were in a strange place, city, country? I'd ask a round pink faced middle aged woman with blue eyes any day. And, as I look like that myself.....
Hello from an Australian whose first visit to London was 1976. Out of the freshly bombed Hilton, I could not see the entrance to the Underground anywhere. I scanned the passers-by . . . ah! woman in leopard fur coat . . .she turned out to be Australian too! said I was brave for a first day-er, and that she had lived 6 months before trying the trains
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Freelance copy-editor and translator. Keen on language, literature, photography, art, music, buddhist meditation and the countryside.

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