Geographic Memory

Yesterday, Phillip had a NorWesCon meeting in SeaTac, followed by a dinner gathering at AFK, in Renton. The plan was for me to meet him after the meeting, but before the gathering.

Phillip had asked me if I’d prefer driving to the meeting, and he’d take light rail, or if I’d prefer that he drive and I’d take light rail. Of course, I’ll take any opportunity to ride light rail.

I got to the hotel a half-hour before the meeting ended. I sat in the lobby and read more of Us, by David Nicholls. I’d been enjoying the scenery too much to read on the train.

After the meeting, Phillip handed me the car key, since I knew the way to AFK. I didn’t let on that I had only a vague idea of how to get there. I got us there with no problem.

Here’s a thing about me: I have excellent geographic memory. Once I’ve been someplace, I can remember how to get there again. It’s a visual memory, however. I can remember how to get to AFK, for instance, since we’ve been there before, but I’d have difficulty giving directions to someone else.

My geographic memory works like this: I can see an intersection and remember that I need to turn right. Then I see another intersection and remember that I need to turn again. And so on. I don’t remember the whole route, however, just each piece as it arrives. I’d never driven from the Red Lion Inn to AFK, but by recognizing intersections, and knowing where a turn would take me, I’d hoped to piece our way there. And it worked.

We had a good dinner at AFK, where we played several rounds of Pirate Fluxx with Amy.

Today, Phillip and I rode the 47 bus to Downtown, and walked to Pike Place Market. We met up with Brian and Kathi, Daniel and his sister Molly, Daniel’s friend Andrew and his 2-year-old son, and Ben. We made a fun day of it, and had lunch at Emmett Watson’s Oyster House.

I hadn’t been to Pike Place Market in over a year. It looked pretty much as I remembered it. We should go there again soon.

I brought Us with me, to read on the bus, or in case we somehow had any down time.

Phillip and I caught a 49 back home. I started reading as soon as we got our seats. Phillip saw that I was on the last few pages of the book, and suggested that we could stop into the library, where I could finish the book and return it. But I finished Us before we got to Broadway, and I dropped it off at the library as we walked home.

I enjoyed Us a lot. I’ll write a review later. Next up is A Wrinkle in Time.

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