Lost in (map) Translation

If you’ve ever seen the movie "Lost in Translation," perhaps you remember the opening scene where Bob Harris (Bill Murray) looks out the car window as his driver pulls into Tokyo.  The horizon is lit up with neon but, apart from a few quintessential recognizables with their namebrands in English, it’s all in Japanese –of course– and the result is this visual cacophony of things you feel you should recognize but obviously cannot.

Now imagine that you arrive in a city where you can read everything –because it’s in English, a-duh– but it still feels as cacophonous in your brain because you don’t know where the streets lead you.  Where is this McLean and why do you keep telling me about it?  Where is east and west and north?  South what?  Tpk?? We’re on a toll road?  Where the hell are we going?

But then,out of the murkiness of all those exits arising like a fair and penile beacon, the Washington monument signals proudly and a little understanding dawns in my head.  The next 45 minutes are spent not busying the mind trying to figure out where we are: they are spent repeating the following sentences:

"OMG.  We’re dead.  We died.  We will surely die.  That’s it: we’re dead."

Thank you for the scariest taxi ride ever, Mohad.

Welcome to the National Capital Area.

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This entry was published on March 26, 2006 at 8:40 am and is filed under Cicerone, DC Dukkha. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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