Where The Hell Am I?-Maybe I Should Learn How to Speak Compass In Chinese!

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Road Trip Here I Come!

Today, two closings in Ardsley, a leafy hamlet in Westchester County. The first appointment was with two quantitative analysts. The borrower, Ling Wong, was hard to understand with her thick Chinese accent. I was jumping into my SUV with the windows and sunroof open to a glorious fall day. My drive was easy as I was listening to sports- radio.

Google Maps directed me to Stanton Ave. The street numbers were all jumbled as I looked side to side for house #23. I was in front of an elementary school, with parents picking up their kids, running in every direction. The commotion only contributed to my anxiousness as I strained to find the signing location on this narrow road.

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I Am Lost-Am I Lost For Real?

I was pulling off to the side of the road and kept trying to find the home! Finally, I found a spot on the road to pull over to call Ling; I asked, where is the house? Now she tells me Google Maps does not list her location correctly.

Now She Tells Me!

In broken English, Ling also said she sent me a map by text. I opened the message and noted with much disdain that the map could have been a road map of the Canadian Rockies.

I kept asking where TO GO! All Ling told me was to head east!

In a loud voice, I told her, “I am not a Compass,” and I had no idea what was north, south, east, or west.

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Temperature Check!

Miraculously, I kept my temper in check. I kept telling Ling I was staring at the school across the street. Ling finally connected the dots; find me! Ling told me to stay where I was, and she would walk up the road and meet me. I saw a slim woman running up the street in a split second, waving to get my attention. She directed me to park in front of her house. Before my eyes, a street sign stated no parking between 8–9 am and 12–3 pm on school days. It was 12:45 pm. I drive a massive SUV and would not park illegally on a busy narrow street, which I repeated to Ling several times. Ling repeatedly countered that everyone parks on the road. Great-but I did not see one car parked. With Ling yelling now, I jumped back into my vehicle.

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Driving In Circles and Circles!

I drove around the block to get away from the madness. Collecting my thoughts, I called Ling. Asking what I should do and where to park legally in the most exasperated tone. Finally, after a moment of silence, I followed her directions to park in the one spot in her driveway as her husband moved their car.

When I arrived at the open spot, still in my car, Ling immediately yelled, “let’s get going. I have a 1 pm meeting”. I laughed as I saw this silly woman frantic and out of control. Ling was muttering in Chinese, and I am sure cursing my existence. I told her we had to wait for her husband, who was also signing. Ling was concerned as she yelled that I was late and it was all my fault.

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Why, Why, Why?????

Ling kept pacing as we waited for her husband. It was now over ten minutes as Ling called her husband, yelling in Chinese. Keeping my cool, I tried to make small talk to calm her down. Her husband finally arrived and parked their larger SUV illegally on the street. We headed to the backyard and started the closing.

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Ling apologized to me with tears in her eyes. My response, in my softest voice, was absolutely no issue. I should add that the husband, Yuan, got up 3–4 times to check his SUV on the street, as he told me the police gave tickets. Funny, a ticket would be more than what I get paid for the closing, so I am careful where I park. We finished at 1:01 pm, as I promised that Ling would make her meeting. Once again, Ling thanked me and apologized for being so kind and keeping her on schedule. I immediately got into my car and drove off to the subsequent closing, hoping I would find more accessible parking and not need a compass.

Lessons Learned

My challenges today were: language-accents, driving directions, and finding a legal parking spot. Regardless of the minor obstacles, every trekking adventure is a story. Let’s see what my next barrier will be in the offering. I must keep my cool and show respect.

Always keep your moral compass!

The journey from world trekking to notary trekking and the lessons learned continue.- Reinvention, Discovery, and Keeping it Real.

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