January 18, Home base, Rotterdam, 7:45PM Local Time
The best way to learn your way around a new city is to get hopelessly lost.
This is a lie.
The best way is probably to study a map, thus preventing you from getting lost in the first place.
Unfortunately, I just don't seem to like maps, and maps just don't seem to like me. At least the feeling is mutual. In addition, my Asian-ness already makes me stand out in a crowd here, and I really don't need a fold up tourist map to better scream TOURIST! TOURIST! ROB ME! to the world. You may call it paranoia, but after having cellphones and passports stolen during past vacations, I like to play it safe.
As you can imagine, I got lost trying to find my way back to home base. Fortunately, after asking for directions a few times, wracking my brain trying to remember past landmarks, and consulting the oracle (aka Google Maps, which unfortunately wasn't much help as I couldn't find Wi-Fi), I found my way back home!
Maybe this is a metaphor for life. (Really, anything can be if you try hard enough, but I sound totally profound right now. Please allow me a moment of self-absorbment so I can bask in my own smartness).