Being lost in a new city

I don’t have any sense of direction. That’s  fact. I could go to the same place every Thursday for a month that I would still need to use Google Maps (alias my best friend).  So imagine, me, being abroad and exploring new cities/countries quite often. 

When I’m with friends, it’s fine, I just have to kind of follow them and even if we end up lost, there’s always someone (not me, obviously.) who will recognize the little street we arrived from. When I’m alone, it’s a whole other story. Especially when I discover a city for the very first time. My eyes are everywhere. I don’t know anything so I want to go everywhere. I want to get to know it. It’s almost as if I’m flirting with it, as if I am falling in love with it. You know, those first moments when you get to know someone you’re attracted to. That’s the kind of feeling I get. 

20th November 2018 – Time to discover Lausanne.

I arrived in Switzerland on the 17th and didn’t really have the chance to explore until the following Tuesday evening. A water bottle, a few snacks, my lip balm and a pack of tissues in my backpack: I was ready. 40 minutes and 2 buses later, I was there. No idea where I should stop, I just get out when I saw the cathedral.  

It was the first time I was discovering a city by night. Never thought of it before maybe. But, as I work during the day and couldn’t wait till the weekend to explore, here I was. It was around 7pm and it was of course dark already. 

Lausanne, Switzerland

I was wandering in those huge streets. I was going up and down then down and up, climbing stairs. It was wonderful. I couldn’t stop. Every end of a street, I was wondering “shall I go left or right?”; sometimes I changed my mind in the middle of a zebra crossing. As usual, it was full of possibilities and couldn’t choose and especially couldn’t stop myself. 

After wandering for about 2 hours, I decided it was time to go home. It was supposed to take about 45 minutes. Spoiler alert: it didn’t. 

So here I was in the middle of Lausanne, of course I had no idea where I was. I remembered which 2 buses I took to arrive. But I wasn’t near any of those. That’s when I call my best friend.

There were several possibilities to go back home. For every one, I needed to take 2 buses. But it could be either number 6, 85 or 76 starting from Lausanne then 32, 5 or 9 (I’m clearly making these numbers up as I don’t rememeber which one I took in the end). 

I was about 8 minutes away to the closest bus stop, so I started walking. Then I saw a street I thought I recongnised from earlier so I decided not to listen to my best friend anymore : bad idea. I kept walking for about 20/30 minutes and I still hadn’t any idea of where I was. Each bus stop I saw wasn’t the good one. 

I finally made it to the right bus stop and was relieved when I sat down, thinking that I would be home soon. WRONG. It took me 20 minutes to find the other bus stop which was about 2 minutes walking from where I was.

It can sound cliché but I learn from my “mistakes”. Usually, I don’t get lost twice at exactly the same place. I went back to Lausanne and found the bus stop straightaway (well I used Google Maps to be sure, but still).

With love, Anaïs

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