Tuesday, November 12, 2013

On The Matter of 15 Degrees

Abstract or Street Map

I've recently moved to Brussels and I'm quickly learning and re-learning many of life's everyday challenges. This is the first post of many posts on the subject of living abroad.

One of the most difficult things about living in Brussels is how the streets are laid out. Like many old cities, Brussels is based on a hub and spoke layout. There are no grids just a slew of small meandering streets that create a stained-glass window of blocks between major aterials.

Yesterday I destroyed my phone, and along with it my map of the city.

After consulting the map before I left home, I was confident I could navigate a scant mile to my destination. But it was a matter of 15 degrees that meant success, or being utterly lost in a spider web of low buildings, cobblestones, and roundabouts. 75 degrees later, I gave up and came home, only to find that I was less than a quarter mile from my goal.

Le sigh.