“Ok Boomer, where is the nearest gas station?”
“Okay so you’re going to want to drive past that building that used to be the old dentist office. Take a right at the large yellow house. Keep going until you see that sign for the restaurant we went to last year and then take a left. If you’ve reached the place where Tim Hortons used to be, then you’ve gone too far”
This is so painfully true. I ask for the name and general vacinity of a place just to look it up on Google Maps, and instead get a 10 minute explanation from 3 different people about how to get to someplace that’s easily accessible and 10 minutes away.
All the explanations are different too, you end up making the people trying to explain to you where to go usually end up arguing
You made me remember stories people have told about the Indian address system. Apparently it’s so bad one company has used machine learning to figure out correct addresses. https://medium.com/@kabirrustogi/learning-to-decode-unstructured-indian-addresses-c80ffcda2e84
In one Indian megalopolis (I think it was Mumbai) there’s a food delivery company that hires illiterate delivery staff that is not guaranteed to be literate, so they’ve developed their own little pidgin improvised script which is not meant in a condescending or colonialist way to denigrate people of South Asian extraction to direct each driver which gigantic building to go to and which parcels of food to drop off.
Apparently it’s legendary for its effectiveness. So much so that western researchers have started studying it to see how it’s significant in learning and language formation although I don’t have a source for this part and apologize if you have incurred any economic burden due to overreliance on this statement.
The service not only delivers take out food, but more challenging still, it delivers parcels from an office worker’s family (usually his wife) to his office place so he has something to eat for lunch.
You’re talking about the Mumbai Dabbawalas. They’re not illiterate, but they DO have their own system of delivering the ‘dabbas’ – the tiffin boxes from homes to offices and this system is SO effective that they have a 99.96% effectiveness.
“The dabbawalas constitute a lunchbox delivery and return system that delivers hot lunches from homes and restaurants to people at work in India, especially in Mumbai. The lunchboxes are picked up in the late morning, delivered predominantly using bicycles and railway trains, and returned empty in the afternoon.”
Lunch boxes are marked in several ways:
Abbreviations for collection points
Colour code for starting station
Number for destination station
Markings for handling dabbawala at destination, building and floor
A colour-coding system identifies the destination and recipient.
Oh my god, this drives me insane. The most mundane question sets off a 15 minute history of the population of your hometown. “Hey, dad, where did you go this afternoon?”
“Well, you remember John Wright? He’s Big Jim’s daddy. You know Big Jim, he used to work at the gas station right by Delmar’s. Well, it used to be Delmar’s, now it’s a Sears. But Big Jim was Jason’s brother. Jason who’s sister’s daughter was that boy in your class’s mom. The boy who got in trouble when he robbed that feed store. Anyway, John wanted me to look at some land he wants to buy. It’s down right next to Margaret Shore’s old house. You know Margaret…”
He lost me at John Wright, and the guy who robbed the feed store was in my sister’s class, who is 10 years my senior.
Edit: Look, I understand the sentiment from a lot of replies saying, “He just wants to talk to you, he loves you, have empathy” and all, and I agree with that sentiment in general. But please trust that I know my dad, and that is not the place where this rambling is coming from in his case.