Q., E. and I were away on the weekend, squeezing every last drop out of our glorious summer. My supervisor (also one of Q.’s colleagues) very kindly invited us up to his cottage for the weekend, and even the thought of talking shop non-stop wasn’t enough to keep us from saying, “Yes, please!”
Turns out the shop-talk was kept to a relative minimum (although there was this truly hilarious moment where my supervisor wondered where on earth E. gets his loquacious manner, given Q. and I “aren’t very talkative. I’m mean you’re all very civilized obviously, but you don’t waste words.” This is mostly funny if you know my supervisor and understand that you CANNOT get a word in edge-wise with this man.) There was loads of time for canoeing, swimming, falling in love with (yet) another lake, and eating too much good food. E. was in tears when it was time to come home and invited himself back again next year (which my supervisor seemed to think was a wonderful idea, hurrah!).
The drive home became miserable at the predictable point, where Highway With Reasonable Amount of Returning Cottage Traffic met Highway of Doom, so we hopped off, stopped for dinner and decided to plot an alternative route.
This led to the following conversation with our waitress:
Me: “Do you know an alternative route into Big City We Call Home that doesn’t involve driving on Highway of Doom?”
Waitress: “Oh, I am so bad with directions. What if you just tell your GPS to avoid highways? That should work.”
Me: “It’s a rental car. It doesn’t have a GPS.”
Waitress: “What about on your phone?”
Q. and Me, looking sheepish: “Umm. We don’t have smartphones…”
Supremely Patient and Helpful Waitress: “Oh.” *total confusion for a moment* “I’ll just go get mine and look for you.”
We left her a big tip and set off with her directions and got lost, as it turns out, almost immediately, but it all worked out because we drove past a gas station (which we had been looking for) and bought a mini road atlas of the south of the province and then discovered we could pretty easily get onto Alternative Small Highway which we have used multiple times before, as our general rule of driving is NEVER DRIVE on Highway of Doom, but we’d forgotten our provincial road map. This was foolish.
We took Alternative Small Highway and had a very easy trip home.
Lesson learned: If you’re not going to enter the twenty-first century by getting a smartphone, don’t forget your map (or your new handy pocket sized road atlas).
Is there anyone else out there who doesn’t have a smartphone? It seems to be mostly when we’re stuck in traffic we wish we had one.
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