Lost in Coquitlamfield with a drunk GPS

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I just got back from driving my mom to the airport. She’s headed for Nicaragua for a month on a business trip. Okay, so there’s some personal time in there too. It’s a month-long trip to Nicaragua; she’d be crazy not to.

I should say, mom drove to the airport, and I took her car back home. This is because time was of the essence while going there and she’s more used to Vancouver streets and so knew her way to the airport, whereas I’d be flailing and shouting “AH WHERE ARE WE” every five minutes.

I just moved to Coquitlam, and while I’ve been visiting my boyfriend in Delta for two years and driving while over here, it’s never been much more than “ferry to boyfriend’s, boyfriend’s to apartment in Coquitlam, Coquitlam to boyfriend’s, boyfriend’s to ferry, sometimes Coquitlam to ferry…”. The bulk of my driving experience remains in the past places I’ve lived since I was 15: Hawaii, Powell River, and Nanaimo. Oh, and the route from San Diego to Vancouver, BC, but let’s face it — so long as you avoid cities driving on the I-5 is pretty damn straightforward. (Mind you, I did drive in L.A. itself — that trip was when I was still learning to drive. But I digress.)

There are a lot of places in Vancouver and the GVRD that I know. Vaguely. If I end up there, I’ll say “OH, I know where we are!” and then a minute or two later be completely lost again. Or if you asked me about the Front St. and Begbie St. intersection in New West, I can picture it perfectly in my head. Or the Wise Hall on Adanac St. Or Granville Island and Fountain Way. Scott Road and Nordel Way. My friends’ house and driveway in Serial Killer-ville Cloverdale.  But ask me how to get from point A to point B? Hahahahahahah I don’t have a fucking clue.

But I am a modern person of genderqueer persuasion! I have a phone with GPS navigation on it, and a very nice British man who can’t pronounce anything here tells me where to go while I drive. (For Lougheed, he says “love-feed” instead of “low-heed”. It’s hilarious and quite charming.) This has saved my considerably-sized ass multiple times in the past few weeks as I try to navigate this massive collection of cities and neighborhoods. (And I thought Nanaimo was badly designed. Well, okay, it is, but it doesn’t suffer quite so much sprawl. Or as many idiot and asshole drivers. But I digress again.)

And truth be told, finding my way around in a city that’s new to me could be seen as a tremendous adventure as I got lost every few minutes. I’d learn each nook and cranny and it would be cemented into my brain as only doing something can. I’d be quite up for such an adventure if I had gas money to burn. Alas, I don’t, and so was very glad today that I was in mom’s car and burning up her gas as I got horribly, terribly lost on my way home.

For you see, even though my British GPS man is quite helpful to me most of the time, my area of town is currently suffering construction. Specifically the area of town between my house and my boyfriend’s house, at least on the north-south axis. This is a large section of city, for the record. (The east-west axis of construction is very large too, but I don’t have any readily-identifiable landmarks to mention.)  It seems the GVRD decided that doing construction on EVERY HIGHWAY AT ONCE would be expedient and efficient and not at all frustrating.

It looks like the Cloverfield monster came and had a tantrum all over our roads. To get anywhere from or to my place I have to navigate a post-apocalyptic wasteland of asphalt and fuckery. This is the equivalent of my GPS program drinking a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster and shitting out its own cerebral cortex. It starts herping and derping all over the place and says “Turn left at Shaughnessy Road in 400 metres” as I’m sailing through the intersection. And then it cries in a corner, because I scream at it in frustration.

This construction is expected to last a while. I’m fairly certain that as soon as I get used to it and know my way around, it’ll be over, and I’ll have to relearn everything.

And then I shall cleanse the GVRD with righteous fire.

So far, though, aside from all the construction fuckery and dealing with assholes on the road, I really like living here. I hope to be less of a shut-in while I live here, and at least go on short walks around the neighborhood. Perhaps that will lead to me actually having something to blog about.

Part 2, or “The Stuff I Own Strikes Back” of The Saga of the Move will be up tomorrow.