By Diane Ako
I'm directionally challenged. It's true. I don't know why, but if I don't travel a route every day for a year, the route won't cement in my brain.
The other week, I had to follow Claus from Pearl City to his Moanalua office. He was dropping off a car there, and I had to follow him, pick him up, and take him home.
I got on H-1 freeway just before he did, and then called him from the car to ask him which exit it was. "Go over Red Hill," he said. I heard "Red Hill." Apparently, he meant the exit after Red Hill, Airport/ Tripler. I guess he couldn't think of the name so he said "after" Red Hill.
I took Red Hill and then I knew it was wrong. I kept driving straight and eventually merged back on the freeway. I then took the next exit, which was the correct one. I came to a stop at the stoplight and found myself right behind Claus' car.
I waved excitedly at him, a grinning fool happy to see him even though I had just seen him 15 minutes ago before we left Pearl City. It's like dogs and their sense of time; always happy to see you.
I was also mildly embarrassed at getting lost because he always teases me that I'm the local and he's the foreigner who isn't even of this country, and yet he's the one always giving me directions. So, I had hoped that ending up the journey in lockstep with him would hide the fact that I started first, got lost, and ended up last.
He did not miss that beat. He doesn't miss much.
He took care of business and then got into my car. We were a few minutes into the drive home and I thought I was in the clear because we had already discussed other topics.
Husband looked over at me with a smirk. "So, enjoy your tour of Moanalua?"
"Oh, uh. What do you mean?" I'm so stupid, still acting like nothing happened.
"Well, I see you left first but came in behind me. Plus, I could see you from the freeway as you were exiting on the side road. I even waved at you. What happened there?" he laughed.
He continued: "I have never known someone with so much direction in life, and yet so little direction on the road."
Yes, yes. Busted. Confirmed: directionally lame.