Friday, January 30, 2009

Dontcha sometimes wonder about people?

I have a cottage for rent. It is what we call in America a “studio”…one room with a kitchenette and a bathroom. In South Africa, it is known as a “bachelor.” I have placed an ad on the internet that say it is a bachelor cottage with kitchenette…so why do I keep getting calls from people who say “Is your one-bedroom cottage still available?”?

It says “reserved parking” in the ad…how does that translate to a garage? “Where’s the garage” they ask me. Who said anything about a garage?

It’s clean, it’s freshly painted, and there’s a new carpet. I have an exterminator in every 6 months (when I do my house) so it is bug-free. It is conveniently located to shopping, public transport, and only five minutes to the beach. It has a pool and entertainment area. Reserved parking. The electricity and water are included in the rent. The ad specifically states “small bachelor cottage/outside room.” And it is only R2600/mo ($260). Just what is the source of the confusion??

I gave a man directions to the cottage---I told him to come up the main road and turn left at the traffic light on Bay Street, then turn right on Water Street at the Shell station. He should go to the end of Water Street, about four blocks, then turn right onto Bird Street, and go to #100 Bird Street. He said he would call me from the Shell station because the directions sounded complicated and confusing!! What, “turn left, go to petrol station, turn right, go to end of road, turn right again” is complicated??

I gave directions to a delivery person to my house the other day. I named the main road and stated: go to traffic light at “A” Street and turn right. Go one block and turn right on First Ave. Go one block and turn left on “B” Street. Go one block and turn right on Second Ave. Second Ave. is one block long and my house is the last one on the right, #3. There is a big silver Mercedes SUV parked in the driveway,

The driver ended up at #3A “C” Street, which is around the corner from me, is not the last house on that street, and did not have a car of any description parked outside. He called me from his cell phone, very irritated that I would not answer my doorbell or open my driveway gate for him…I don’t have a driveway gate and my bell had not rung. How did he do that?

A few days ago I gave a woman the same directions…via email, so she had them in writing. She ended up on the correct street, but at the gate of the house across the road from me, which is the last house on the left and had an old cream coloured Mercedes sedan parked under a tree in front of the house…

This kind of thing happens so often I am beginning to think there is something wrong with me. Is my communication somehow unclear? Am I making unintended implications? How does one make “reserved parking” into “garage” in one’s mind? It is unrealistic of me to expect people to actually comprehend extremely simple (i.e. “left, right, left, right”) directions or an explicit description? What am I missing here??


  1. Don't feel bad, it's not you. People come to our complex to rent and want to see a one bedroom when it's clearly marked on the sign outside that we only have studio apartments. People are too distracted today to follow even the simplest of directions.

  2. Hi there!
    I was browsing the blogosphere looking for people with similar interests that want to be friends - in a blogging kind of way, so I stopped to say hi!
    Wishing you happy bloging and the best in your life.

  3. Girl I got lost just reading your blog, but thats okay, I remember getting lost walking home from school one day. Some of us are just directionally challenged.


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