Lost in London

Okay, the title isn't what it sounds like. Yes, I may be getting lost after only having been in London for a week, but it's not because I don't know where I am. It's because, for whatever reason, I can't find my destination.
Saturday was my first truly free day. I decided it would be a prime opportunity to familiarize myself with the local yarn shops. Armed with a map, my tube pass, and a list of addresses, I hit the streets. I figured that, between those and the rough Google instructions I had copied into my phone, I would be fine.

When I got off the Tube, I promptly set off in the wrong direction. (In my defense, the street signs here are deliberately hard to find.) My map didn't reach this far north of the main city, so I didn't realize it was the wrong direction until I had walked four blocks and arrived at a park instead of passing my street. Even when I found the right street, I walked up and down it for at least twenty minutes.

No yarn store. I gave up and headed back to the Tube.

Two trains later, I left the station through the wrong exit. Luckily, not only was the area on my map, I had clearly marked the shop. I didn't wander for long before I found the store and bought the needle tips I wanted. I wandered to two other stores but didn't have much time. I'd spent too long looking for the first stores. Worn out, I headed home.

The same thing happened on the following day. Three other girls and I had church in a ward far south of London. The bishopric had provided us with a rough map and directions; I thought that would be good enough. We met up at 8:15 and headed out.

Then utter linguistic failure happened. We were supposed to take the Tube to a certain stop (we did), get on a train, take that to a tram stop, and take the tram to the chapel. Well. To me, a "tram" is the lift you ride at Snowbird to get to the top of Hidden Peak (you know, the place where I first found out I was claustrophobic). Maybe it can be something like a trolley--you know, with the cables on top?--but somehow, in this case, I decided that tram = train.

We got off the train; our map showed the destination to be right up the ramp from the station. Awesome. Looking for an "old building" (which means absofreakinglutely nothing to Americans--everything here is old!), we set off up the road...

And found ourselves surrounded by trees. No sign of buildings anywhere this side of the tram line.

As it would turn out, the map didn't send us to the church. It sent us to the tram stop. We stopped to ask for directions; thankfully someone had a GPS. We figured out our mistake. Too bad it was an hour too late--two of the girls had only bought round-trip tickets instead of the (cheaper) day passes. So. We walked the one-or-more miles to the chapel.

This was, of course, beyond frustrating. It was a Fast Sunday, so none of them had eaten. I'd had a pathetic breakfast because the dining hall was closed. Most of the girls hadn't worn decent walking shoes.

All that frustration faded when we looked down the street and saw a familiar sign: the plaque that is always on the front of buildings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I suppose seeing these signs is something I take for granted, since there's a church on every other corner back home. Finding it here helped me feel at peace. I'd found my church, a little piece of home in this strange place.

I wasn't lost anymore.


Shallee said...

I know exactly how you feel about seeing that familiar sign. It's such a relief to see something that familiar when you're somewhere strange!

Sorry you've gotten lost a few times, but I hope everything is still going well!

Hillary M. Knight said...

Hey look! I found my password! XD Now I can follow your blog like a good little stalker.

And geez--you're in London and in your free time you look for yarn. :) It's so you. Sounds like you're having an amazing time and I hope you get more familiar with the area soon!