The Map of Love

The map of love

277 Comments

Gerard Oosterman

The most awe inspiring part of a woman is her brain.

The multi-tasking capabilities of the female are well known. Many professors are spending their entire lives studying this phenomenon, trying to figure it out. Are there genetic codes or markers there?

The male on the other hand has trouble just doing a single task, and of course always expects great admiration and respect to follow.

The question is how this multi-tasking of females came about. Is it learned or gene related. Mothers with one on breast and another on hip (babies, not husband) can do cooking, cleaning, talking and write a thesis on 17th century Latvian ceramics…all at the same time.

The female does multi-task. The male with prompting can do serial tasking at best. He does one thing at a time. He changes his underwear one day; next day puts it on top of laundry basket and with luck on the third day or week after, might put his underwear actually into the basket.

During the long and bitter winters here in the Southern Highlands, well above 800 metres, one of the many single tasks that falls on my shoulders is the lighting of just one cube of fire lighter. Most nights our two fires are still alive next morning and just need topping up with wood. If lingering in the warm bed takes long, the risk is that a fire has to be started from scratch with the fire lighter starter.

This takes a male’s full concentration, and stillness is required now, no talking or interruption. The striking of the match first, then slowly approach the cube which is carefully underneath some kindling. Will the match die out or stay alive? The success of a positive day is now in the balance. If the fire starts, all is fine, if not, it might require an accusation to others that it is just not possible to do so many things at once. It will pale the morning.

In Norway, the proven multi-tasking capabilities of women is cleverly exploited and by 2010 40 per cent of company management must be women. If this is not done, companies will be closed down and all men sacked.

There is one thing that man is superior in. Map reading.

Not even Norwegian women can read maps. I suspect that maps are hieroglyphics to most women. Even the concept of North and South are mysterious entities, steeped with bearded explorers and arctic frosts. What is the genetic marker for that failure?

The male map reading genetic marker has been bedded down. This is a man’s speciality and the one thing standing between male self esteem and total annihilation. Keep this in mind fellows. Use it. It is not much, but hey, it is better than standing on a Norwegian street corner during winter after being kicked out of the warm office by a rampaging multi-tasking female work force.

Years ago, I converted a VW Kombi into a sleeper/camper with the audacious use of self tappers and window curtains together with short wooden legs hinged to chip board for a three-quarter bed. We decided to go to France and headed first for Paris.

After visits to Seine bridges, and Musee Du Louvre with Mona Lisa, Left Bank and Montmartre, we ended up at the Champs D’elysees and right in the middle of this wide Avenue we decided to set up camp on the ‘troittoir’. We thought it strange that no one else was parked there but next morning, much to our relief, there were many others busy with putting on trousers and blouses. No doubt, many wrapping up the fruits of true love as well.

We planned to have a breakfast of croissants and coffee after which a tour of the Loire Valley with Chateaux was in mind. This is where the inferior map reading by females became obvious.

Ecouter svp!

Getting out of Paris is almost impossible. This is why many give up and remain there forever. We ended up at a huge round-about with a bronzed statue of a large man on a large horse in the middle. We circled round and round this horse statue like a shark around a cadaver.

Finally, we stopped to ask a ‘gendarme’ how to get away from this endless round-about with the big horse. He not only kindly directed us but gave a special map on how to get off this round-about and towards the Loire Valley with its promise of vin blanc and chateaux.

We did manage to get away, but it was only temporarily, a huge detour, and back on the same round- about circle, no escape; we seemed destined to just keep on rounding and rounding. We were starting to wonder if all roads in Paris always ended up at this same round-about. Was it a fiendish plot to get at English speaking tourists and McDonalds and future Starbucks?

I was getting frustrated but decided to stop and ask police again for directions. Would you believe it, the same policeman? This time he pencilled directions on the map. Again, stoically we drove off. Another 50km, and through banlieues and Algeria, the horse statue again. I was sobbing now, close to being catatonic and pleading with my female partner to direct me from map. Half an hour, looked out and saw this fu###ng horse and the same policeman. He was laughing and pointing at my Kombi.

I then glanced sideways. The map was held upside down.

Remember now, men. We are good at map reading.

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5 Responses to “The Map of Love”

  1. Elisabeth Says:

    Too true, Gerard. Women it seems are good at multi-tasking and less so at navigation. I too find it hard to figure out how to read a map. I also have trouble knowing my east from west, north and south. I have trouble imagining the geography of the world.

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  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Elisabeth for your kind comments. Of course reading maps is a pretty dull pastime and if men are good at it, perhaps it says more about men than about women.
    I just came back from the garage for an oil change. The mechanic explained about diesel chambers and exhaust systems with code 82 failure button having to be re-set. My eyes glaze over as soon as cars are mentioned. So…. not everyone can be combed under the same comb. Viva la difference!

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  3. auntyuta Says:

    Gee, what you experienced in Paris, going round and round, this was so funny! It made me laugh and laugh. I just couldn’t stop laughing! Yes, viva la difference! We had some funny experiences too with directions. France wasn’t too bad for us, but Rome was disaster. We ended up going south instead of north!

    Another experience in Italy was in a small town where we had to take our 2CV to a scheduled service. The place for servicing the car was really hard to find. Some one tried to give us directions telling us where to turn left and where to turn right. We did exactly as we were told. But it was hopeless. We could not detect the name of the street we were looking for. After long searching it turned out we just had to continue and approach the street from the other side. Luckily it worked out all right for us in the end.

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  4. gerard oosterman Says:

    Hello Utta,
    Yes, we too had experiences of traveling through countries with just a smattering of the language. I remember once we just gave up with a ‘droit et gauche’ decided to sleep in the car in front of a French castle. A kind lady got out from behind the castle’s wall and asked us to sleep inside.
    She gave us coffee and breakfast next morning.
    It turned out she was a Baroness and owner of the castle. The kitchen was bigger than our house.

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  5. auntyuta Says:

    How lucky you were, Gerard, to have been invited into a castle. I’m envious! A droit et a gauche, yes, I remember this well. We carried some Italian phrases with us too. Luckily a lot of people in France as well as in Italy understood some English.

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