Saturday, October 07, 2006


And West is West, but what about North and South?? I am not sure of the source of my inner desire to know the N-S-E-W orientation of my whereabouts. Maybe it was growing up in Northern Indiana where nearly all of the roads run North-South and East-West, with some notable exceptions like US33 through Goshen to Elkhart, or SR 119 from Goshen to Nappanee, or the county roads that follow the rivers and races like around Bainter Town. Maybe it was living in Colorado where the Front Range is always to the West, or living in New Mexico where the Jemez are to the West and the mountains of Santa Fe and Taos are to the East. Maybe it was living by the ocean where the Santa Monica Mountains are to the North and the Pacific to the South.

But here in Buenos Aires, there are no helpful visual cues - no mountains, no oceans. In our neighborhood of many high rises and big trees, it is often difficult to see the location of the sun. Not that it would help me much since I have to stop and think "It's October, but we are in the Southern Hemisphere which means it's not fall heading to winter, but rather spring heading to summer which means the sun is heading South of E-W rather than North....." Oh, to have those Elkhart County even-numbered roads for a reference that when west-bound at the equinox, the sun was setting right in your eyes, with winter sunsets far to the South of West and summer sunsets, far to the North of West. Also, not being able to see much of the sky means that you cannot tell when 'weather is coming.' For example, in Colorado Springs, it is pretty easy to see what is in store weather-wise.

Of course there do not seem to be any roads here that run straight N-S-E-W. When we go out the front door of the Casa on to 11-de-Septiembre, I have to think "It's kinda South and the road runs kinda East-West" but in actuality, the front door pretty much faces SW, which means the road runs NW-SE. And, to top it all off, many of the maps and guide books do not have North at the top of the map!!! Thankfully, the subte map is "correct" :-)

1 comment:

Tim Rice said...

Sounds confusing! ;)