Which Way to Turn?

The frosty winter weather was descending on the American prairies. Time for us to hit the road.

Chilly morning

Hoping to be back in rain country soon.

On any long road trip you inevitably have to pull in at a gas station now and then to fill up the thirsty tank. On our recent drive home from Montana we made many stops to gas up the truck. At one point, after miles of driving without a town near, we were  anxiously looking at the fuel gauge. Because we were pulling a trailer, we were thankful for the spaciousness of the American gas stations and for their convenient locations just off the interstate.

“Here’s an exit with a gas station sign,” I said. I’d been watching the exit signs for the usual  pictures of a place setting for food, a bed for accommodation, or a gas pump for gas stations.

“Just in time,” my husband said as he pulled in beside the pumps. “Gettin’ a bit low. When you go in to pay, ask how we get back to the freeway. The street has a median here and we won’t be able to do a left turn to go back.”

I dug  $60 out of my wallet to give the attendant. The friendly Asian man’s name was Yim, according to his name tag. We exchanged pleasantries about the weather and then I said, “Oh, I almost forgot. Can you tell me how to get back onto the freeway heading north please?”

“Ah, is easy! Go down to light and you turn.” He pointed through the window at the intersection about a block away.

“Thank you, but which way do you turn?”

“Go to light and you turn,” he repeated, smiling and nodding.

I wanted to be just as friendly as he was, so I took a deep breath, and repeated, “Yes, so when you get to the light, do you go around the block?” I pointed to the left and made a circular motion.

“No, no, no. Go to light and you turn.”

I sucked air through my teeth and dug deep for patience, and then he added, “Go to light and you turn.” He looked at me, smiled, and bobbed his head. “Is allowed.”

It was then that I noticed the big U-Turn sign hanging beside the traffic lights down the street.

28 thoughts on “Which Way to Turn?

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      It was good for a laugh once we did the “U-Turn” and (just barely) made it around with our trailer. At that moment we were thankful that it was a small trailer. A bigger one wouldn’t have been able to make the turn there.


  1. Feusi

    You have to learn to trust other people a bit more – haha. I don´t blame you for asking again (I would have too). But this U-turn came-in handy, didn´t it? Was a funny little story, thanks for sharing.


    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      It wasn’t so much that I didn’t trust him. I just didn’t know which way to turn. Usually it’s “left” or “right” but I hadn’t thought of the possibility of a U-turn. And yes, it did come in very handy!


  2. Sonja

    That’s just too funny…”Go to light and you turn”. To Yim, it was obvious. How much clearer did he have to be? ha ha ha…”Go to light, and U-Turn.” It is like the son who e-mailed his dad to ask him to buy a car he wanted. The dad replied “No cost too much.” The son was thrilled, but unfortunately, his dad soon burst his bubble. What he meant to say was “No, cost too much!” It’s all in the delivery. Funny story Anneli! Glad you found your way back home!

    By the way, the photos are beautiful! Love the heavy frost on the trees.


  3. wordsfromanneli Post author

    Just barely made it with the trailer in tow. Yes, Yim was so happy and friendly. He didn’t get flustered, just kept nodding and smiling. He knew I’d get it eventually, even if it meant driving right up to the sign.



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