I think I’ve only gotten lost once in my life. It was at the old Makati Supermarket. Other than that, I could always find my way provided I have a map, or if I can clearly see the lay of the land, preferably in daytime.
I was accompanying my aunt with her shopping that fateful day. I remember we were walking the condiment aisle. I was fascinated by the shelf full or ketchup — I have always been crazy about ketchup. The variety of condiments in front of me made me stop momentarily and ogle all those brands.
That was enough to get me lost. When I came to my senses, hopefully to ask my aunt to buy me a bottle, she was gone.
Apparently, she had walked on to the next aisle or so, forgetting that I was with her.
I proceeded to the end of the aisle and looked for her; she wasn’t there. I went to next aisle in the hope that she would be there. She wasn’t.
I suddenly froze in my tracks and didn’t know what to do.
I don’t know if a guard or a stock clerk found me frozen in fear in the condiment aisle. But I do know I was taken to the information counter where a lady asked for my name and my aunt’s name.
As she announced that there was a missing child at information, I just put on a brave face, that it was an ordinary thing that happens in any supermarket.
I remember losing it when I saw my aunt’s face in the crowd. You can just guess how I felt.
She didn’t give me a scolding, but only told me to stick close to her, otherwise I’d get lost again in the maze of aisles at the supermarket.
I remember that before we went home, she treated me to a snack at the supermarket’s coffee shop. I had some spaghetti — who didn’t order it at that time — and we went home with half a kilo of slab ham that had been mixed with sandwich spread and mixed pickles.
Since that day, I’ve never gotten lost. I guess I was always mindful of where I was, keeping my eye on the vehicles passing before me. My aunt reminded me in case I got lost, I should just hail a cab and tell the driver our address, which I memorized to heart.