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Q: My wife sucks at giving directions. Does yours?

A line from the opening scene in the movie Roger Dodger,

"Men's ability to read maps... to navigate, makes us useful."

  "Are you saying that women have an inferior sense of direction?"

"Which way is North, Joyce? Without looking around? Point north. You heard me, quick."

 

I was driving with my wife in China and, she's Chinese so multiply my frustration times 10, she's using iphone GPS to guide me. 

"Go straight."  

"And then what?" 

"Go straight." 

"Can you tell me what's coming next so I know what lane I should be in?" 

"..." 

"Babe, please tell me what's next so I don't miss the turn." 

"TURN RIGHT!" 

"What?  Here?" 

"YES!, oh you missed it!" 

"Babe, I'm in the farthest left lane.  That's why you need to give me more info before hand.  [Right Turn] Alright, what's next?"

"Go straight."

"No shit.  Really?"

 

Every freakin' time.     

 

5 years 41 weeks ago in  Relationships - China

 
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Posts: 7206

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I have an example. My wife arranges to meet friends. We go to said place. Nobody is there. They are all lost. I ask my wife to phone her friend to send  me her location. Her friends says she can't send her location because she only has an iphone4.

 

It's not a Chinese thing by the way. I reckon nine out of ten smartphone owners have no idea how to use them.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Every Chinese sucks at giving directions. 

 

I was surprised first time, I asked grade 7 students at the Public School: 'Where is the Post office?' (in Jixian, Hebei, 20 000 residents city). None could explain to me in all 8 classes. 

One girl saved the moment, and said: 'I will show you tomorrow! Follow me.'

 

I explained to the students at our next lesson, one must use 3 different sentences in English to tell directions anywhere in the World.

We were practicing: 'Show me you L (R) hand/ arm', and 'Go straight'.

Till the remainder of the semester (more than 2 months), I asked directions Q in the last 10' of every class as a practice.  

 

Same thing happened later in Training centers, I worked.

 

'Direction Q' is the same in China as pronunciation of 'usually' or 'smile'.

 

It is difficult to find somebody to give you clear directions, doesn't matter his/her English level.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Man,Get a GPS Navigation device for your car.

Generally speaking,most women are not good at giving directions,not only Chinese ,but also other race women.

I remember when I just moved to Australia,I often get lost,so,I usually ask girls for help and a lot of times they gave me a wrong direction,some of them even took me to get the place I wanted to go and found out its a wrong direction LOL.

Now,I will always ask guys for directions If I could not figure out my way,they are way better.Sorry Oz girls

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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As a woman, I suck at directions, I have no clue where anything is, even the stuff I pass by everyday. I look up directions ahead of time and study them myself. 

 

Perhaps you should too, even if your wife knows where the place is by heart, she might still cause a headache trying to communicate it to you. 

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Doing quite a lot of trekking, which involves a lot of direction asking... In Asia, people can't read a freak'in map. With a self-made map drawn with a pen, I do a better job than the locals who live on site for 10 generations. They also have no notion of distances "walk, hu....  3 hours to get to the river crossing". 20 minute later, river crossed... So I always prepare a trek using road maps and satellite views.

 

For my wife, it's her ability to memorize a place. She needs to go there many times to recognize a place. In general, reading/drawing a map is a skill seldom learned. The idea to need a whole fleet of satellite to do the job I can do with a pen and a paper sounds ridiculous to me. I stick to paper maps.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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Gents. Before you say you wife cannot find her own nose. Take her to the mall, blindfold her, I am sure she can still find her preferred clothing brand. ... and could you find anything in the mall, maybe except a burger joint and a cafe ? 

 

Dr Monkey does have a point in the "distances" "Oh no, you cannot walk there, it's too far" and then you are there. Mind you, most Chinese people, especially here in the south, do walk rather slow. 

 

 

Fun fact. There is a correlation between walking speed and GDP Per Capita 

http://jcc.sagepub.com/content/30/2/178.abstract

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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You do not have it so badly, mine will just say "Turn" without saying left or right.  

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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I have yet to meet a woman (Chinese or other) who can read a map good enough to find something.  Personally, I love maps and this bewilders me.  I wonder if there has been a professional study on this phenomenon.   When I am able to find myself around a new city, my Chinese friends are always amazed.  When one of them wants to be my "guide", I say forget it, I will be your guide.  They don't even know their own city.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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I guess the stock answer is, "Don't they all?"  But yes, my wife sucks at directions. I am usually the one to give the taxi driver directions, and my Chinese is poor.  My wife lets herself get bullied into taking the route that the taxi driver wants to go.  I usually step in and call BS at the extortion attempt.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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No, and she taught me how to use a map... lol.

 

But does every other person I meet in China suck at giving directions? Yes... yes, they do. Especially my in-laws. A simple "find this landmark and turn in X direction" turns into a 30 minute phone call.

 

When I ask for directions, they spend 3.14159 years trying to explain an incredibly complex set of nonsensical directions. I usually just tell them to point me in whichever direction, and then they give up and just point north, east, west, or south.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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@WCG   Haha sounds exactly like me & my wife in the car 

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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i still dont believe the chinese invented the compass, they stole the idea for somebody and killed them and we will never know who it really was that invented the dam thing. no body here has a clue how to use a compass, even in the military they cant use them correctly.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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You know what's worse than people who suck at finding and giving directions? What gives me the rage of a thousand white hot suns?

 

People who can't give directions, and then tell you that you suck at finding your way.

 

I loathe every fiber of your being. I wouldn't be lost if you didn't fail so hard at giving clear instructions. Use cardinal directions, and stop using common things like "next to the Chinese guy with black hair and glasses" as a landmark.

I bet this is the 6th house you've bought this year because you couldn't find your way back home every time, you 'tard.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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When my wife first came to Australia she got lost in our street  , She went in one door at the shopping center and left by another at the other side of the complex . 2 hours later she found her way home . But my ex wife takes the prize , we were on holiday in York in the UK and she was Navigating . Dear the top of the book is North indecision. So she says.crying Your holding the map upside down I reply.   So where are we I ask     . I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE !!! was the reply. Then would you like to share the secret ? noI drove no further than 20 ft when she states she is compleatly lostangry . Then get out of the car and walk back 20 ft to where you new exactly where you were and tell us where we are nowsurprise .

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
Posts: 139

General

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They all suck with directions. It's like their tongue cabbot pronounce the words "North", "East", "South", or "West".  It always "Go that way - I think" or "I think its over there near a traffic light."  But calm down - we never married them for directions did we?  Thank God and Garmin for GPS.

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5 years 41 weeks ago
 
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I'm in Sichuan with my wife, and when she wants to talk about other people in China, she'll ask: "Are we north or south?" but honestly, she just confuses the Chinese Nan (south) with North because of the N.

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5 years 40 weeks ago
 
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Me;  "I'll meet you on the south east corner of Yanerdao and Jiangxi  Roads at 4pm."

Her; "Ok, great, see you then."

At 4.15 I call and ask where she is...

Her; "I'm in Dancing Square"

Me; "Why aren't you where you agreed to be?"

Her; "No why."

Conclusion?.... Knowing the names of roads is not what Chinese are capable of.  Understanding directions, including N, S, E & W, is also a bridge too far.

Why this is I just don't know but bloody hell it's frustrating.  And unteachable.

 

 

 

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5 years 40 weeks ago
 
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my wife is an idiot with directions. "when do i turn? i know theres a turn."
"ummm can you stop?
why?
" because i have no idea where we are and i dont want you to get mad, you do it"

useless, but she has boobs [ kinda] so shes forgiven.

Part of it is that chinese will never ever usher the words " i dont know" so if they dont know, you are screwed, because there gonna say something and it isnt gonna be right.

but i think its because few drive, the vast majority of my chinese friends are in their 30s and drive every day so to be fair they are no better or worse than any other country. They know most names of roads and how to go. I have one friend who wont trust a gps, can get you to any place in the province better than a taxi driver.

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5 years 40 weeks ago
 
Posts: 961

Shifu

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The locals are just so vague about many things. When one asks for direction in the street, even if the wife asks in Mandarin they wave their arm through about a 180deg arc. WTF. 
 

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5 years 40 weeks ago
 
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