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Monday, August 01, 2005


"Chennai or Coimbatore or any other Indian cities, are better than Singapore in this aspect" - My friend

The above is the usual quote of my friend, whenever he visits a new area in Singapore, with the help of a map. He takes time to register the map in his mind, before venturing out to any new places, and that too in a Car. In India it would be easy to stop a Moped / Bike / Car on the road and ask for further details and go ahead... He finds it difficult here, to stop like that and check out.

Some people do have this problem of road sense. In Indian cities, even if there are cranked roads, they love to find out the place, without difficulty.....

1) with the "First Left, second Right... Second Left, then First Right" direction or
2) with the "Road next to the Tall building, nearer to that Pink Colored short building" ideas.

Here, the townships are filled with identical building blocks / streets / roads, which makes the job difficult for him. (Even if a city is well planned, strange persons have odd problems!!!)

So, to avoid the delays on his routines, he used to go for a trial drive always, before the actual day (if time permits). It happened, day-before-yesterday too!!! I accompanied him during the trial drive to show the route, since he has to visit a place which he rarely visited.

"Road Sense" - I realised the meaning & importance thru him. Till then, I used to think, "What's the big deal in visiting a new place?". Thanks to the likes of him, I gained a good knowledge & experience as a tour guide. Sometimes, I have taken the role of an architect too in drawing out road maps.

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Anonymous GP said...

Yeah Ram.. the more you roam, the better.. of course in US, you get printable routes from/to any place but still in big cities, one needs to have some kinda sense.

I had difficulty thinking in terms of north/south/east/west till a few years ago.. but now I try to think mostly that way, when I sit with the map.. that makes life easier..

Monday, August 01, 2005 5:40:00 PM  
Blogger ranganathan said...

sorry......no comments:-)

no idea on maps.......as i still rely on public transport!!

even now in toronto, canada.

Monday, August 01, 2005 6:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kaps said...


streetdirectory gives a route map from one location to another....u can rely on that.

in india u have the privilege of stopping near a tea kadai or some hawker and asking for the route. there is no such luxury here.

Monday, August 01, 2005 9:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

GP.. I'm just wondering about my friend's fate, if he gets an offer from U.S. (printable guide is the only problem.. he needs oral or practical guide!!!)

Ranga.. Even for Public Transport, sometimes we use maps. As GP mentioned deciding N-E-W-S is the main issue for anyone having problem with the road sense.

Kaps.. as I said, relying on Map adds more problem for our friend.

Monday, August 01, 2005 9:41:00 PM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

Haha! Amusing to read about the trial drive before every routine visit...

Dunno why I am laffing, I'm one of the worst hit by the Direction Challenged Syndrome :(

Monday, August 01, 2005 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Vinesh said...

Enjoy reading your blog very much buddy!
Am adding you to my blogroll!!


Monday, August 01, 2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aatma said...

Man that sure looks complicated. Out here in US we can print out the map and off we go. Plus we can get excellent updated Maps. So no problem going anywhere.

In India we are lucky because we can ask people around, but still i believe maps are important, think if you to calcutta and u don't know a word of bengali, think about asking directions then ;)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Prabha said...

good atleast u r not complaining about India ;)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:28:00 AM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Vinesh..thx for brlg me.. am too, Laughing at your DCS.

Aatma.. Yes, if language is an hindering factor, then we need to definitely rely on the map only.

Prabha.. LOL. anyhow, this is not India or Indian Politicians bashing post. Just a note on a 'syndrome' as Vinesh has referred.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 2:18:00 AM  
Anonymous kavitha said...

Hi ram,
First of all Congrats for reaching a milestone in blogging.

I have had the privilige of living in India till date and have lived in nearly 12 different places and visited many more places all over. I always feel it is easy to navigate here if you know the language a little....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 4:13:00 AM  
Blogger tt_giant said...

I must say that not all roads in US are easy to navigate. For example, in Phoenix, all roads are parallel and run straight. You cannot make a mistake.

But after coming to Florida, navigation was hell for the first few weeks. Every main road has 3 names, and the road snakes, turns, curves, disappears, and appears later.

Singapore.. considering its size, getting around should not be that dificult. As others mentioned, sense of direction is important anywhere you live.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:00:00 AM  
Blogger Balaji said...

ramc, welcome back. missed my daily dose of your blog!

kaps correcta solraar. the potti kadais r the ones i miss most when driving somewhere in the US. the closest u get to that here r gas stations. but sometimes gas station kandu pudikkave time aagidum!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Chakra Sampath said...

thats a good one Ram..

romba naal i had this problem of right, left. i used to get confused whether it is right to me or right to the building. :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 9:11:00 AM  
Blogger AF said...

Good post Ram as always.
Here is US maps, maps for all. My husband has that practice of taking a trial ride before going to some very unknown place, especially if he is going for a interview or some important business, since he does not like to be lost. But now he is a bit better on it. But we drive with mapquest.com or yahoo maps always. It is so great in India, we never even bother about maps and just ask people and go..

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 3:24:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

Kavitha.. yep.. if you have the language as the handy tool, then nothing to worry about.

TTG.. U R right. If the initial days' teething troubles are solved, then you get the route registered in your mind for the rest of the period. antha 'initial registration' thaan silarukku idikkuthu...

Balaji.. Potti Kadai Vs Gas Station.. good comparision. But I believe you may not be able to find 'n' no. of gas stations as you see 'potti kadai's in India.

Chakra... Most of the time, I too get it clarified with others, if they tell me just 'right'... while giving me a direction.

AF.. So, Ur husband also goes for a trial drive... anyhow, precautionary drive is always better, instead of losing an opportunity on the actual day!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 4:34:00 PM  
Blogger Arvind said...


IMHO, traffic sense is absolutely necessary, especially, when you don't expect to have a navigator :-)

But, as pointed out, for super-critical events, it is better to test-drive rather than rely on something else...not even taxis..i had the same experience, where taxi-walah was asking me how to get there :-(

in most cases though, a good map is all you'd need :-)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:03:00 PM  
Blogger G3 said...

Despite having gone to Raffles Place sooo many times, I still get lost in there. Thebuildings there are soo tall ... I can never figure out where I am or will be.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ganesh said...

Gayathri, had that same experience when I was in singapore

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ram.C said...

arvind.. that's why test drive is my friend's favourite.

Gayathri / Ganesh.. LOL, on your experience at Raffles place.

Thursday, August 04, 2005 7:18:00 AM  
Blogger singman said...

Cram, Welcome back ....I think India is the only place in the world where if you ask a passerby for the route to your destination - he will not say ' I dont know '.

For all other places - we have GPS (Global positioning system). I bought a portable one and fixed it into my car - no hassles - it guides you to your destination with voice alerts and online map. The good thing about the GPS that I bought was you can also use it while walking as its got an in-built battery.

Thursday, August 04, 2005 3:44:00 PM  

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