Tourists can be lost, even when they are right beside what they are trying to find.
The observation caught me off-guard. It also triggered an extended period of observing the tourists in Singapore. What is the relationship between being lost and knowing where you are? Obviously, it is more than factual. One can be standing beside the very think that you are looking for and not know it. Knowing is rarely enough. One may have all the facts in getting from point A to B and still never arrive. Is there a mysterious combination of emotions, facts, and events that need to come together in order to not be lost?
The question was lingering when I came across an old quote. “Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now? It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power.” (1 Corinthians 15.56) Perhaps my combination is better understood as a linked chain that can be broken in the right circumstances.
For someone that is a tourist, including myself, I would suggest the following.
Trust the directions from someone you know that is local. They may not seem to make sense, however they are more likely right than wrong. Even through a direction may seem right or obvious, if it was, you would have likely been told about it. Go with what you have.
Write down your directions. Better yet, take a printout. It never hurts to have an extra picture or two of what you are looking for and the map that relates to it.
Be patient. However clear you might think you are, your words may not make sense to others in a local context. Although English is a national language in Singapore, most speak Singlish. It is a unique twist on English that does not always translate.
I am struck by correlation of fear and what follows. Understanding the source of our fears makes a difference. Once I acknowledge my fears, I am in a position to do something about them. Having a personal guide helps.