Getting Lost

I had an appointment this morning, and I had written down the address: 3rd floor 218 Queens Road. I got off the MTR in Central, found my way to the proper street (not a difficult task) and walked towards 218. After about 5 minutes I was in the 150s, and then after 10 I was in the 200s. I saw 216, and then 222.

218 Queens Road does not exist.

I call the number. The receptionist says something in Cantonese. “Hi, where are you located?” I ask as soon as she finishes.

“Do you need an appointment?”

“No, I have one, I need directions. Where are you?”

“Do you need to cancel your appointment?”

“No. I need to find the building. Where are you located?”

“New World Building in Central.”

“I know that. Where is it? What is the address?”

“New World Building, 3rd floor.”

“No, what is the address?”

“Ah! 18 Queens road.”

I was annoyed and already 10 minutes late. So I retrace my steps, back the 10 minutes in the other direction, a 30 second walk from the MTR. I would have been on time had I written it down correctly; I mutter to myself about incompetence. I pull out the handkerchief my Dad gave me years ago, and wipe off the sweat dripping from my forehead. It is humid today. (There’s a thunderstorm on it’s way)

I go in the building, up some escalators to the lobby. The elevators are separated by floors, which is usual. I need 3. There are three sets that go to floors 1-26, for towers 1, 2 or 3. They do not connect.

I go up the first elevator that arrives. It is wrong. I cannot find the correct office after strolling the length of the entire floor.  I call again. When the Cantonese receptionist answers I interject,  “Which tower are you in?”

“2.”

I go back down, wiping the sweat off my face so I look like I meant to be late. Go up the set of elevators behind the first one, and arrive. “Hi, I’m Jamie, I’m late.” They smile, nod, and hand me my forms.

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