Tingo Tuesday

Tingo Tuesday: Have You Ever Gone ‘Akihi?

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It’s Tingo Tuesday!

The first Tuesday of each month, I share a word from The Meaning of Tingo by Adam Jacot de Boinod, and you get the chance to win a month of side-bar linky-love.

Today, I’m sharing a Hawaiian word.

Have you ever walked off without paying attention to directions? Well, then you were ‘akihi.

I do that all the time. Kind of.

Say I’m lost. I try really hard to pay attention to the person giving me directions, but then I get back in my car and realize I can only remember maybe 2 of the 19 steps involved. So I drive towards the general vicinity of my destination and plan to stop 37 more times. FYI: Folks who work in convenience stores give the worst directions. And the best directions come from mail carriers. Those folks know where they are going.

I love when other cultures have language for the actions and concepts for which we haven’t necessarily got the right words.

Now it’s your turn!

Leave me a comment about a time when you wandered off all ‘akihi and get a map for just $3.99.

If I love your comment the way my husband loves his GPS, I’ll slip a photo of you into my sidebar so folks can check you out all month!

If you are not a blogger, don’t worry. I have plans for you, too.

This month’s winner is Audrey Frampton of blogschmogok who explained her distaste for neckties started when she worked at IHOP. Can you say polyester neckwear? To see the comment that won her a month of sidebar linky-love, click HERE.

Now it’s your chance!

Tell me about a (real or fictional) “‘akihi” moment. What happened? Where were you? How long did it take until you got to your destination?

tweet me @rasjacobson

You have until February 27, to enter a comment! The winner will be revealed on the first Tuesday in March!

75 thoughts on “Tingo Tuesday: Have You Ever Gone ‘Akihi?

  1. Years ago, we’d arrived in Padua, Italy, my then-husband and me. It was towards evening, and we were lost. We couldn’t find our out-of-town hotel. So I asked a group of carabinieri – local police – to point us in the right direction. They looked us up and down, and rightly surmised that James wasn’t used to left-hand-drive cars, wasn’t an experienced driver, and would hate going on a road chase. ‘Follow us’, they suggested, and 5 of them leapt into their patrol car and roared off. They zipped up and down medieval side streets, surged through lights just as they were about to turn red, and broke every speed limit. The ones in the back of the car kept on turning round to check if we were still following. Somehow, we were. We thought – we knew – that we weren’t going direct from A to Z. We were going via C, X, Y, F, M, J, D, T and all other letters of the alphabet. But somehow, somehow, James hung on. We got there after what seemed like an unending and action-packed bad dream , and I think earned the grudging respect of the smirking officers. I think we earned that big bottle of wine we got through later that evening too. I don’t think ‘Akihi’ quite covers this situation, do you?

  2. The moment I read your blog title, I knew. I didn’t know the meaning of Akihi, but I somehow knew I’d gone all Akihi a time or twenty.

    What a fun word to use. *glee* “Um. Mister, you’re the tenth person I’ve asked. I’m all Akihi, I need to cross the Canadian border and it keeps moving on me. Can you help?”

    This would, of course, expand into a new BFF conversation about the meaning of Akihi, where he lived, how many kids he had, what he did for a living, whether or not he liked it, what role he wanted to play in my next book, why he couldn’t yet purchase a copy of said book…

    Sadly Those encounters don’t happen in my imaginary world.

    I did have an Akihi adventure on my way from Toronto to Pennsylvania last year. Bestie Sherry Isaac gave me very specific directions on which way to take the QEW (I think that’s right) from her home to the border crossing. In my discombobulated noggin I envisioned Toronto south of where she lived, so I headed off in the wrong direction. Hmmm. Things began to look familiar, and not in a good way. I didn’t recall seeing those buildings on my way to Sherry’s house. I recalled seeing them on a day trip. So, I stopped and asked for directions. Made a bad, bad choice on my exits as it was a convoluted mess of turns before I found a convenience store. The kind man there told me how to (1) get back to the QEW, and (2) which direction to take for the Canadian, U.S. border.

    I waved when I left, when I drove past that convenience store for the first, second and third times. He either didn’t see me or chose to ignore my roundabout routing.

    Akihi! Where new friends are made and local color absorbed in our quest to get where we want to go.

    [This comment, masquerading as a novella, obviously had its own Akihi moments.]

    1. Gloria: I think I have been to that convenience store once or twice. Or seven times. I always get turned around in Canada. My new rule is never stop in Ikea. That is always my undoing.

      And by the way, awesome novella. 😉 Thank for playing.

  3. I go ‘Akihi on my husband a lot, especially when he starts talking about the schedule. He tends to ramble so I glaze over. He says something like, “So if I take call Thursday and move clinic to Wednesday so I can do that one thing at that other time before my meeting on Friday and then we can do our thing on Tuesday before the kids need to go on Saturday…” And I HEAR, “So if I take call blah blah blah blah blah blah”

  4. My husband stays akihi but he’s in denial. When visiting a friend whose address is a numberless mailbox on an unnamed gravel road he insisted that he not only knew where it was but also several short cuts. This particular akihi moment left us in a stranger’s driveway plastered with Beware of Dog, No Trespassing and other F*@k the Government signage. I told him there wasn’t time to argue over whether or not he was lost. Put this sucker into reverse and get out before the shotguns start a’shootin’.

    1. Tori: I would have thought you would be ringing the doorbell to ask further directions of the gentlemen who owned that house, confident that you were that girl: the one who would be able to make him enjoy four-legged creatures and visitors and believe in the government again. LOL. Love it. 😉
      Also, glad you got out of there, girl.

  5. All I can think of is that ahiki sounds like a hiccup or a sneeze! 😉



    Have you tried sipping from the other side of a cup?


  6. Can someone be in a constant state of ‘akihi?

    I submit my husband as evidence that, indeed, one can.

    This applies to directions of any kind.

    “Hun, can you grab me a glass of–”

    He takes off for the kitchen and returns with green juice.

    “No, actually I wanted some water with–”

    He’s already gone, grabbing me water.

    “Right, okay. I wanted some Vitamin C–”

    He takes off and grabs me a vitamin C tablet.

    “The powdered stuff that you put in water.”

    Exasperated, he returns to the kitchen again, trying to figure out why I sent him to the kitchen so many times.

  7. I’m pretty sure I’ve lived most of my life akihi. Directions are for suckers and the informed. I tend to wander off without any regard for either directions or purpose.

  8. “Girlfriend’s Liability Release Clause: Terms of male service are subject to change or fail miserably when Akihi is prevalent and unavoidable.”

    There is a widely used misnomer by “High-T” heterosexual men that they would perform euphoric miracles with their spouse, significant-other, if she allowed another woman to join them in the bed. These men (myself included) will greatly OVER-SHOOT expectations if she allows more than another woman but also in his wild dream-state 2 or 3 hot women to join knowing this one-in-a-million opportunity may NEVER present itself again! I have fallen into this self-designed TRAP before.

    After my partner gave me at least 10-step EXPLICIT directions of how to please her as well as the other women so that EVERYBODY has a memorable time, I assured her “Baby, I so got this.”

    Little did I know that what I had been told many times throughout my High-T life — that men’s blood flows in only one direction — was so embarrassingly true. As the heat of the moment increased, my brain was drained of blood by one single selfhish organ, and I couldn’t remember, much less focus on, what I was suppose to do when everyone’s clothes came off.

    Liability Release Clause kicks in….Akihi is in early onset.

    Moral of this Akihi moment?

    Men, our fantasies are rarely based in male reality: we are not the best multi-taskers contrary to our sometimes rather large egos, even when we are given a simple MAP in crayons by our hopeful, patient, loving spouses/SO’s.
    They are the Queens of multi-tasking, hands down.

  9. I’m embarrassed to say that I also live my life “akihi.” I have one story in particular that rings of complete and total out-there-ness that will go down in history in my family, especially where my husband and sons are concerned. Long story short. I was at the Rose Bowl with my family. Nature called. I left my seat to find the restroom. I couldn’t find the “Ladies” room, but I saw a sign for “Restrooms.” So, I promptly got in the line I thought was to get into the AREA of the “Restrooms.” I was flabbergasted at how many men were in this line, but there’s a lot of beer flowing at the Rose Bowl, right? So, I’m casually standing there, minding my own business, chatting with a couple of the guys in line, who were probably wondering “what the hell is this woman doing in this line?” When my son walked up and said, “Mom, what the hell are you doing in the line for the men’s room?” Then, he shook his head in dismay and pointed me in the right direction. No, I was not intoxicated. No, I am not mentally challenged. No, I am not blind. Yes, I am “akihi.”

    1. Word (((Hugs))): I have don’t this more times than I can count. You would think that I would know by now that women’s restrooms do not have urinals. I have had to hide inside a stall and wait until men have left before sneaking out. Sooooo embarrassing! So glad to know you are out there, Soul Sister!

      And by the way, I don’t drink either! Just me and my Canada Dry, Ginger Ale. *head desk* 😉

  10. My husband used to be a funeral director, working for his father (and, by the way, with the exception of my directionally challenged husband, funeral directors are also a great resource for getting directions, as they have picked up bodies in every part of town). We had an akihi moment of sorts when he and I drove to Nashville from southwest Missouri to pick up a body. On our way back, as chief navigator, I mayyyyyybe wasn’t entirely paying attention to road signs and took us a little off our course in the hills and hollers of south central Missouri (remember Deliverance?).

    I had my husband turn and head west at the first possible highway (okay, county road). We didn’t have a map, because we didn’t NEED a stinkin’ map (so says I, having made that trip DOZENS of times over the years). We were in the middle of NOWHERE (do you hear the banjo playing?), on a county road that was paved, but that’s about all I can say for it, when we rounded a curve and came upon a road block, set up by a highway patrolman.

    My husband pulled to a stop, and the patrolman asked for registration and proof of insurance. My husband immediately started sweating and rummaging through the glove compartment, looking for it. He kept saying, “I’m a licensed funeral director and this is my dad’s car” over and over. The more he looked, the more he sweat, because he couldn’t find the paperwork anywhere. I leaned over and told the patrolman my husband had missed a turn and could he tell us how to get back on the correct route, which he did, telling us to have a good day.

    He apparently forgot that he never saw our registration and proof of insurance – whew!

    And he never noticed that we had a dead body, on a cot with a blanket over her, in the back of the Suburban – double whew!

    1. This comment has everything! (Even the dead body!) I love this line and I laughed out loud:

      “I’m a licensed funeral director and this is my dad’s car!”

      I imagine THAT story comes up at family gatherings. So freaking funny! Love it. Thank you for stopping by, Dyanne. So glad someone invented GPS.

  11. I use Yahoo Maps a lot. Usually they are pretty good. But about a month ago, I got directions that were a bit squirrely and I ended up lost, partly due to my own fault and partly due to Yahoo Maps. I was supposed to go out Bandera Road to San Antonio Ranch and turn left on Ranch Road. Supposedly there was a large sign that said “San Antonio Ranch.” I knew this because I used to live about 15 miles past this development but I drove right past the sign. Never saw it and drove for about 5-7 miles up the road when I realized I must have passed it. So I turned around and drove back and sure enough, there was San Antonio Ranch with the big sign just as I knew it would be. I turned down Ranch Road and looked for the turn off road, which I found. Then the directions went all killywampuss. The next direction said to take a road on the right, which really turned out to be on the left but the road sign was turned around to make it look like I was already on the road. I was quite confused until I realized that the sign was turned around. Then I was looking for another road that was a cul-de-sac. I found it. It was basically a two-house driveway. I pulled in. There were no other cars there, which I thought was strange because I was there for a meeting. No one was home at the house where the meeting was to take place. So I came home. I looked at my computer at the meeting invitation. The meeting was the NEXT DAY. At least now I knew where I was going for the meeting tomorrow. Now I was glad no one had been home when I knocked at the door.

    1. You showed up a day early for a meeting that was tomorrow? That is totally ‘akihi’ — and “killywampuss,” I might add. And “killywampuss” should totally be a TINGO TUESDAY word. You crack me up, Maire. I might need to alert Adam Jacot-Benoit. 😉

  12. Love this idea for a blog series, Renee! But then I tend to be fascinated by languages.

    My story cannot begin to compete with some of those here, but my husband and I went ‘akihi’ one time when there was a huge back-up on I-95 somewhere in the Carolinas (before GPS). Hubs got out the map and started giving me directions. Now this was NOT my fault because I, of course, am a very careful person who always listens carefully to my hubs (ahem). But his directions were, shall we say, somewhat convoluted. We ended up in the middle of a swamp somewhere in Georgia just as it got dark (still on a paved road, but nonetheless… when strange dark shapes with red eyes are staring at you from the shoulder, paving is only small comfort). I don’t really remember the rest (traumatic amnesia, probably) but we lived to tell about. Oh by the way, we were headed NORTH on 95 coming up from Florida originally, so how did we end up back in Georgia? We never did figure that one out.

    1. Kassandra: I’ve been doping this series for a while. Adam Jacot de Boinod even contacted me! Cool, eh? Like you, I have ended up going in the wrong direction. Once I actually said, but we were driving on the right side on the road. My husband was like: “As opposed to what?” I didn’t really know what to say to that. I am so grateful for GPS Jill. She is like my best friend. (Except when she yells at me.)

  13. My akihi moment was actually caused by my GPS. We planned our vacation route last summer to include a stop in La Crosse, Wisconsin, to visit the dear sweet Jess Witkins.

    I entered the address of our motel in the GPS and was directed to exit the Interstate and make a u-turn. When we crossed the Mississippi River and re-entered Minnesota, I throught about tossing the GPS out the window, but since it’s on my Android phone, I didn’t.

    Next, it sent me about halfway to where I should have exited and had me u-turn again. This time it had me exit onto a road that dead-ended almost immediately.

    On the third try, it allowed me to go a little farther before exiting. This time, I gave up. Although it’s against all laws of nature for a man to ask directions, I stopped at a store and asked. The directions the person gave me got me close enough that I only had to drive around for a few minutes before I found the motel.

    Whew! Akihi! Once I got there and saw how simple it should have been, I was once again tempted to throw the GPS away.

    It had a happy ending, though. We finally made connections with Jess and her boyfriend Joe, although a bit later than we intended, and we got in a good visit.

    1. Hahahahaha! Were you in your mobile home? Did you have to go through customs? Hahahaha! I’m so glad you got to meet Jess in person. She is the bomb! (But speak kindly of GPS Jill. She’s like my bestie. I don’t think I could get anywhere in Florida without her. Well I probably could, but I’m pretty sure it would involve stopping a lot more and crying, too. 😉

  14. I’m ‘akihi with directions all the time – no biggie. Don’t get me wrong; I know that’s bad, but you can always carry a map or a GPS. The really, REALLY big problem is that my brain is “All ‘Akihi, All The Time” for every life situation. I routinely ask a question and my brain switches off before the answer is given.

    The absolute worse is how ‘akihi I am with names.

    “Hi, I’m Peg, I don’t think we’ve met.”
    “Hi, I’m Joe.”
    “Great to meet you, Joe”
    …1 drink of wine and 2 bites of nacho later…
    “I’m sorry, what was your name again?”
    “Joe! Of course – got it.”
    …5 minutes of mutual friend discovery later…
    “I am so brain-dead, ha ha! Sorry, but this time I’m going to remember your name for sure!”
    “Still Joe.”
    “Joe, Joe, Joe- Schmoe! Got it for sure now! I’ll probably be talking about Joe in my sleep tonight, ha ha!”
    …co-worker walks up and joins us…
    “Hi Peg. Aren’t you going to introduce me?”
    “Sylvia! Don’t you know…um…er…?”
    “Excuse me, I have to go. I think I left the stove on at home.”

    I need the Anti-Akihi Life GPS.

  15. I’ve done that a zillion time with actual directions. But just this past Monday I was in an appointment with a customer. When we were done I had to pee like crazy so I asked where the bathroom was… “just go through those doors and blah, blah, blah….” I couldn’t find the damn bathroom. Finally I just gave up, went to my car and drove to a McDonalds.

    1. Steve, when I read this the first time I swear you said: “I couldn’t find the damn bathroom. Finally I just gave up, went in the car.” Hahahahaha! That would have been awesome if you had actually taken a leak in your car. And by awesome I mean that would have been terrible. Your wife would have killed you. I’m guessing even the goats would have been mad. 😉

  16. I am ashamed to admit I’ve done this all to myself by myself in my house. I swear it’s due to a ginkgo biloba deficiency, because we all have one of those right? in fact, I suspect it’s what “gingko biloba deficiency” means in Hawaiian. All I can say is this: if I were on Hawaii, I wouldn’t care about where I was because that would be paradise and I wouldn’t care about any directions.

    Did I just commit akihi?

    Since you asked, for example I have read baking instructions for something, I’ve gone downstairs (it’s always in the basement when I forget things) to fetch what I need and when I get to the landing… I walk into the room and I’m all… “Why am I here again?” And then I go back up and forget why I went there in the first place. Then I smell the oven warming up. And I remember…. So then I go downstairs, get the pan or the chicken or whatever and come back up and forget what I was planning to make.

    This has been going on ever since I had kids. I blame them.

    Thanks for the fun prompt. Good to hear from you RASJ. -M

  17. Once, after partying it up at a club with my friend years ago, she went to go get the car and left me to wait in the front of the club. needless to say, i was totally Akihied and panicky within 2 minutes of her leaving me. I asked the bouncer which way she went, but was unable to follow the directions due to the plethora of tequila consumed that night. It wasn’t my finest hour, no… It was not. But the bouncer offered to lead me to the car after I checked his security credentials, of course. Mama didn’t raise no fool… Or too big of a fool, anyway. But instead of just leading me to the car, I talked him into giving me a piggyback ride thru the parking lot whilst I yelled “Hi ho silver, away!!!!” We could not find my friend. But luckily, came to get me a little while later. We had parked really far and I had to take my shoes off because they hurt so. She didn’t want me to step in anything gross. Anyway, when she showed up, I had a group of 4 very large bouncers gathered in a group hug. I was standing on the side chanting soothingly, “feel the love guys. This is so good for your soul.” That was the last time she ever left me alone… Anywhere. And she has since nicknamed me as a Hugging Jedi Master.



    1. Valerie! You are a superstar! That’s the way to get akihi. Wrastle up some macho men and hug it out! I love this. Sooooooo fun. Also, so glad that everything ending in a happy way. Did you end up going home with any of those “stallions”? #Bazinga!

      1. Hahaha! Nah… I’m all kinds of classy… And by “classy” I mean “threw up in the back seat of my friend’s car into an empty dunkin donuts cup then threw it out at a stop light… Into the trash. Because I’m also environmentally conscious”. So I guess it’s good there were no stallions for me that night… Because vomit doesn’t usually go over too well. :0)

        1. Outstanding, Valerie! Like you, my son has amazing powers of control when it comes to barfing: to date, he has always made it to the bathroom — and the one time he didn’t he made it to a garbage can in London. They hurried us through Customs quickly after that episode.

          I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

  18. Ooh this is a good one Renee. I spent the first several years of childhood on a tiny island in Hawaii so I absorbed the island mindset, which is basically a culture of imprecision, or da kine aka yah we’ll get to that or we’ll get there, at some point, around there, kind of.

    Or maybe, as much as I hate to admit it could be gender, it’s just the typical guy thing where I get directions or look at a map and then drive around for an extra 30 minutes trying to find a location when I only remember 3 out of 5 pieces of direction. I’ve definitely convinced myself it’s because I like to know where things are around the place I’m going to, which is somewhat true, once I’ve been somewhere I can pretty easily find my way back even years later. Of course that’s not very helpful the first time when I’m already late, and drives other people crazy.

    1. Joe, I can never tell if you are serious or kidding or giving me a hybrid. But something tells me that you really did grow up on a tiny island in Hawaii — because of the way you seem to understand their chillaxed way of doing things. I was in Maui a few years ago — very lost — and I was getting panicky. I stopped for the 37th time to get directions and the dude was all : “Relax lady. We’re an island. How lost can you be?” He was right, of course.

      My Hubby was born with a GPS implant. Thank goodness. But, honestly, I rely on him too much. Nice to see you. WIll be over to visit soon! 😉

      1. Oh this one’s all true….I grew up on Molokai’i which is just off of Maui. I’m afraid I do tend to have a lackadaisical attitude (except at work, where I’m a perfectionist). I imagine this makes people want to push me down a flight of stairs so I make a point of only visiting first floor residences;).

        Fortunately I live in New Mexico which has it’s own version of don’t worry about it. We are known as the Land of Mañana….(we’ll get to your important earth shattering thing tomorrow, we promise). It drives the East Coasters nuts.

        Did you guys go to Haleakala Nat’l Park in Maui? I was just looking at pictures of that place, it’s stunningly beautiful. Going to try to get out there this summer.

        1. We did go to Haleakala! We rode bikes down from the top. So beautiful (windy) and so much fun! You should definitely go! Next January I get to try a different island! Hubby’s work has perks! If we are FB friends, you can see pics of Hawaii trip! 🙂

  19. I was in the car, with my kids, on the way to a family reunion spot (2nd cousin’s farm) to pick up a kitty from the litter they’d had that spring. I had been to the farm maybe 2x before, and while the directions were rather straightforward – as in, take highway to this road, turn left, continue for x-miles, there you are – I felt, somehow, when I got to this intersection en route, that I had to turn right instead of continuing forward. So I followed my bad instincts and ended up ten miles away from my cousin’s farm, in a place I could have reached much more directly had I wanted to go there – I originally was headed about ten miles north, and ended up ten miles west of my starting point (home) due to my round-about tour of “This can’t POSSIBLY be right!” Absolutely disgusted with myself, and not having a working cell phone in the car with which to make a call, I stopped at a bank drive-thru to get my bearings.

    I felt completely irritated for the rest of the day, aside from looking at the ball of orange fluff we eventually chose once we reached our destination. I mean, really. I’m someone who drove out in the middle of nowhere to meet my then-boyfriend (now husband) at a family holiday gathering with no other directions than, “It’s on this road, it will be the house all lit up with a bunch of cars in the drive-way.” As if there weren’t ten other places on that road looking exactly the same way . . . .

    1. Kathy: I understand this soooo soooo completely. What you are describing used to be me on a bi-weekly basis. Before GPS, I used to call my husband at work in tears. I would try to describe where I was and make him get me back to a main route. He wanted to kill me. You sound like the girl who normally has the GPS implant in her skull, so I imagine this really ticked you off. For me, this is my natural state of affairs. It sucks. I am so grateful for the inventor of the GPS. I should do a post about that. 😉

      1. Uh, yeah. This also happens to me in parking lots at big box stores and shopping malls. I’ve trained myself to park in the same section every time I go so I don’t have to wander around the entire area wondering, “Where’s the car?” and setting off the alarm in order to find it!

  20. I ADORE Hawaiian words! Unfortunately, I’m having trouble coming up with an example of a time I went all ‘akihi in my wandering. On the contrary, I’ve been accused of being a Cylon with a built in GPS system, always aware of where I am and which way I need to go. I’m a crazy plotter before leaving the house, too. Maps, MapQuest and my navigation. Most (and I stress the word most) city grids are laid out logically so it’s rather easy to find your way around if you miss a turn. I have a few close to me that may not agree and there are a few stories I could tell there, but I’m not going to bring others into this. They may not appreciate it. Hehehe. 😀

    1. Debra! You are built like my husband. And frankly, so long as every marriage has one person hard-wired to do the navigation, everything is cool. I am not that girl. I used to get lost all the stinkin’ time and call him at work in tears. He did not especially enjoy this trait about me. But believe me, when they announced that GPS’s had been invented, he made sure I got the very first generation. Best gift ever. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  21. While road tripping back to Wisconsin from Colorado, I considered using my new car’s navigation system. I forgot to enter my parent’s address before we left and then thought, “Oh screw it. I’ve driven these highways so many times, I don’t need it.”
    When we were a couple hours away from our turn off to Wisconsin from Illinois, my son and I joked about some of the dumb city names we drove past. “How would you like to be from Normal?”
    “That would suck.”
    “Everyone would make fun of you..When dropping you off on their way to Chicago they would say, Dude, if you live here, there is nothing normal about Normal.”
    “How did they even come up with the name Normal?”
    “Hey let’s pick a name for a town. Something simple. Something exciting. A name that will entice tourism. I know! Normal.”
    We laughed and laughed and I drove on as the sun set. Then I saw sky scrapers looming up ahead.
    “Oh crap. Is that Chicago?” I asked while hitting the brake.
    “You should have turned off by now,” said my husband Danny from the back seat.
    “Here let me Google Map it on my phone,” said Courtney, “Have you already passed Normal?”
    We had laughed right through the turn off to I-90.
    That was my Akihii moment…

      1. We were waaaay past normal, but you knew that already…We ended up over an hour late… Oh well!
        In my defense, it was a new turn off. It had been under construction the year before!

  22. Trying to get home from work during the worst snowstorm Seattle had seen in years. Helpful co-workers gave directions I only half-listened to, I was stressing about putting chains on my tires for the first time, ever. Ugh! It must be some rite of passage into adulthood to have to get on your hands and knees, in the dark, with ice and snow blowing all around you while trying to get those darn chains on.

    So I head out, chained up, into the night. My usual route home was jammed, so I try to follow the directions I only sort of paid attention to, in a part of town I’m unfamiliar with. I hit the critical turn, and was so disoriented in the snow (did I mention I’m a transplant to Seattle from Southern California?) I turned north instead of south without realizing it.

    Thank goodness for cell phones. I finally called Hub, almost in tears because I wasn’t coming up on the landmarks I should have, and he shouts “You’re going the wrong way! Turn around now!”

    It still took me six hours to go…thirteen miles. The snow hit the city so hard ALL my south routes home were blocked. Worst night driving, ever.

    1. Shut the front door! Six hours to go thirteen hours! I’ve lived in Buffalo and been stuck on the Thruway for six hours — and that was enough for me. That really is a nightmare story. Wow, girl. Just, wow. You really went “‘akihi” on that one. I hope there was a blanket and a cup of tea waiting for you when you got home that night!

  23. I really thought I was unique in my ahiki abilities until I met my husband, who is almost as accomplished an ahiki player as I am. We often try to out ahiki each other, but I’m clearly better trained. The skill is all in the head nod – making it look like you’re paying rapt attention, but really just watching lips move, wondering whether any spit will shoot out of the direction giver’s mouth. Ahhh, thinking about ahiki reminds me of the good ole days before GPS. Good times …

  24. Many many moons ago…I took a group of children into the woods. I got lost. I had deep panic but I could not let my campers panic. SO….I played a game with them. Who could find away to get us home. Fortunately there was a nice stream. We followed it and presto we came to a clearing. My heart was beating so fast, I even thanked g-d. I was a very happy gal that day. It could have been a catastrophe!

    1. That is definitely a great story of going akihi. Once Hubby and I went for a hike in the woods and got all turned around. Six hours later, we found a main road. We were so far away from the place where we started. But I was had we were together. Being lost with others makes things less scary.

  25. Once when I was visiting Spain as an aimless backpacker, I got off a train at a randomly selected town armed with only a small map and the arrogance and naivety of a young American. I found a small hotel, dropped my backpack on the floor of my room, and removed a bottle of wine. I drank this wine from a glass that I found in the hotel bathroom.

    Then I found a bar and sat there for a few hours trying to talk to women. While I had an extensive Spanish vocabulary, most of it was from exhaustively memorized lists, and when spoken, lacked a certain fluidity and grace. In retrospect, it made me sound insane. As you might imagine, after a while, the bartender started looking at me funny and taking a very long time to refill my drinks. Eventually I took the hint, but upon leaving the bar, realized that I had no idea where I was.

    When I re-entered the bar, the bartender shook his head and pointed to the door. I conveyed to him that I just returned to ask directions, then approached a table of teenage locals.

    I announced that I was an archeologist looking for Visigoth artifacts (which I was not) and that I needed to get back to my hotel room. They directed me to make a left at the cathedral, and then said something else followed by something else.

    I did not ask for clarification because I was suddenly taken with the idea that, being a man of great faith and devotion (which I was not), that once reaching the cathedral and turning left, that God would guide me from there. When I reached the cathedral, there were three streets going left. Father/Son/Holy Spirit, right? It doesn’t matter which one you take.

    I woke up very early the next morning on a bench in the bus station.

    1. Do you think there was something in that wine that you found? Maybe?

      I LOVE that you were an archeologist looking for Visigoth artifacts. I cannot believe that you had memorized enough Spanish to know such words. I can say “I have lost my pants,” which could probably help me in a few situations.

      Geez, Jon. I would love to know if this story is memoir or fiction — and yet, I am choosing to go with absolutely 100% true. There is something totally hot about American arrogance. Kind of.

  26. My husband with a car full of relatives and friends planned a trip to NYC.They were to stay overnight at a cousin’s house in Plainview, LI. I was not with them.
    Some woman we met a day or two before encouraged him to take I-80 instead of our usual route. So off they went saiing down I-81 south to look for this other road. On the way they stopped for lunch in Pennsylvania. Once back on the road, they continued driving and driving, but no Route 80. They played “Geography” to pass the time, which turned out to be quite ironic. It was getting later and later as the sun began to set. My son, about 6 at the time and playing the name the state from the license plates, whined, “Why do these cars have only Ohio license plates?”
    My husband saw a sign saying ” Penn State so he figured they must be getting closer. It was nearly dark, the orange sun making a big display in the distance. Finally my stubborn husband stopped at a rest area to ask directions.
    “How far is it to NYC,” he inquired. ” Oh, about 350 miles,” was the reply.
    “How is that possible? It was less than that when we left home!”
    This car full of Geograahy game players and all adults but one, had been heading WEST into the SETTING SUN to get to NYC on the EAST coast, of course. Only my little son had noticed anything amiss.
    They arrived at in Plainview at midnight.

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