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I recently took the subway in an unfamiliar city. When coming up from underground, though I could identify the intersection and knew roughly where in the city I was, I couldn’t spot anything to give me a sense of direction. No recognizable buildings in the distance, no mountains, no waterways. I had to walk west about ten blocks, but without knowing the names of any streets in between I didn’t want to risk a guess.

So, I did what any lost tourist eventually has to do, which is ask a local for help. My first local turned out to be British and new only how to get to her hotel, which didn’t help me. The second person was much more help and immediately pointed out east and west for me.

So off I go, trotting westward down the boulevard. This is about 6 pm. Almost immediately I have to put my sunglasses on as I think, “Man, this is annoying, having to walk straight into the sun like this.”

Then I realised immediately what a dunce I was. Hopefully they don’t get wind of this at the Astronomy department and kick me out.

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