I must begin by saying that I am not typically directionally challenged. Now I admit I can't tell you the points on the compass with the snap of a finger but I am fairly map savvy and can find my way around a new location in fairly short order. I don't what happened on American Airlines but somehow my sense of direction all but left.
The day before my interview with the general Janet and I did a dry run so I'd know what Metro to take, where the museum was in relation Metro station, and how to enter the building. Everything seemed simple enough, however day of I accidentally got on what I thought was the wrong Metro and spent twenty to thirty minutes righting my little mistake. Two transfers and one helpful patron later I was back on track only to discover that night the blue line also went to the Smithsonian. Clearly, I was not using my head and panicked just a little. Anyway, back to the story. By the time I got off at L’Effant Plaza I only had thirty minutes to spare and was a little lost. Because my map wasn’t entirely to scale and National Mall landmarks were not visible from my position (how in the world can a building hide the Washingtom Monument!!) I asked six different people how to get to the Air and Space Museum. Not one of them knew where it was! Fortunately, I found a family who looked like tourists, and they were headed in what I thought was the general direction of the Mall. I decided to follow them and after about two blocks was back in familiar territory. Of course, it was ninety something degrees with very high humidity, and I felt like one giant sweat ball! Thank God for air conditioning.
Conclusion #1: Parisans know their city better than District of Columbinans and are much friendlier.
Conclusion #2: It pays to know the city map also as a diagram of the Metro system. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it was on the other side...semi inside out, but on the back nonetheless.