Monday, June 22, 2015

4058 They know who I am...

Monday, June 22, 2015

A glorious defeat is better than victory achieved with the wrong attitude.
 – Samurai maxum --


I think GeoGuessr might have it out for me.  I had a run of especially good games lately.  I got 24988 out of 25000 on a game (five maps) a few days ago, then on the next game, yesterday, I got 24367.  That's pretty good.

This evening, the first two maps were in Bulgaria!  The first two!  TWO in a row!  Man, someplace like Bulgaria, there's virtually no way to figure out where in the country you are.  When I get something like Bulgaria, once I figure out the country, I pretty much give up and click randomly in the middle of the country.

The next one was Montana, USA.  Don't know if you've ever been to Montana, but there's miles and miles of miles and miles with few signs, and the few signs I passed were out of focus.  Thanks, Street View.   I saw one clear directional sign pointing to a town, so I just clicked on that town, figuring I had to be somewhere near.  I was almost 50 miles off.  BTW, did you know that Missoula, Montana, has an international airport?  An international airport?  It's a small city, in the mountains, major employers a university and two hospitals.  They must have a good senator.

The last two were Brazil!  Two!  One after the other in Brazil!  I have great difficulty with Brazil, because again, where GeoGuessr drops me, there's next to nothing.

Sometimes I can guess I'm somewhere in Brazil without squinting at signs, just by the highway department.  Those guys are crazy.  Like tonight I got dropped in a tiny hamlet of tiny shacks, maybe seven houses widely spaced, nothing else visible for miles and miles in either direction down the road.  But, there were two bus shelters, on either side of the road, at either end of the hamlet.  (Brazil is big on buses.) The road was marked with barred pedestrian crossing marks at the bus stops.  The speed limit was dropped to half through the hamlet, AND they had two, count 'em, TWO, fancy automated electronic speed traps at either end.  Less than a kilometer apart, mind you.  Crazy.  No route signs, or street signs, or signs pointing to towns, though.  You might get lost, but by darn you aren't going to drive dangerously, either.

Other than tonight I've been enjoying GeoGuessr.  I like when I get to wander around France, or Sweden, or Britain, or Italy, or Japan.  I look at villages and houses.  The other day they dropped me in Lesotho, so I got to learn some new stuff. 

But sometimes it's disturbingly depressing.  Once I was dropped into an area that looked incredibly economically depressed, and the houses scared me.  The buildings were obviously very old, and they looked like they had been maintained over centuries by people who owned no tools and knew nothing about building techniques.  Like an exterior wall (not just one house - it was in general) had been repaired by nailing boards up, but apparently the repairer had no measure and no saw.  The boards were random lengths, so some stuck out past the end of the building, and others stopped short, leaving a hole in the wall.  Like there'd be a two-story house, and the ends of the floor of the second story were not covered by the "siding", floor beams stuck out randomly.  I was thinking, jeeze, these people are scary!  I mean, even if you're poor, you can still figure things out and take some pride in the work.  Ok, a good saw might be expensive when you have nothing, but if everyone in the village chipped in a turnip or a cabbage, maybe you could buy/barter one saw to share. 

That was Romania (a bus went by and I got the name of the bus company), very close to the borders with Hungary and Serbia.  I don't want to go back there, not even virtually.


I guess I owe Romania an apology.  I just went there on my own with street view, and most of the areas I wandered around in are quite nice.  I guess GeoGuessr dropped me into the Romanian equivalent of Detroit (the damaged part), and you can't judge all of the US by Detroit (the damaged part) either.

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