Turning Left

Have you ever had one of those days, or experienced one of those moments that could probably define you as a person? Did you realize that’s what it was doing at that moment?

I have always considered myself someone who enjoys taking left turns. This may just be because I am left-handed, but I take note of those instances. When I play video games, I always choose the door that’s on the left, or explore something beginning with the left side. I trust my left hand more than my right, if that makes any kind of sense. If you’ve read “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, he talks about people playing cards. There is a blue stack on the left and a red stack on the right. He found that people are more likely to draw from the red deck, which has greater gains, but also a greater percentage of loss. People who draw from the blue deck, the left side, do not suffer as great a loss and steadily increase their winnings. Whenever there are colored decks in front of me, I always choose the blue over the red. I turn left instead of right.

I remember hearing that if you want to find your way through a maze, keep turning left. I don’t know if that’s always true, but I’d like to think the majority of the time, it works.

There’s an episode of Dr. Who called “Turn Left”. It’s during Tennant’s time as the 10th Doctor with Donna Noble as his companion. The episode focuses on the effects of one decision in Donna’s life: to turn left or right. If she turns right, she will never meet the Doctor. The Doctor will die. Martha Jones will die. America will be ravaged by Adipose. The Queen will die when the space voyager Titanic crashes to Earth. London will be wiped out and the people of England will end up in a dystopian world of internment camps.

At the end, Donna turns left and the timeline is restored.

Today, I decided to do the same. Not so much restoring an alternate timeline, but making the conscious decision to help someone I had never met and will likely never see again. I was headed to the grocery store and had to wait at the crosswalk. Across the street, I saw two foreigners. The girl was trying to help a guy who was hopping on one foot. Initially, I figured this was just some strange thing they wanted to do, hop around Suji. I’ve seen stranger things. My store was straight ahead and I needn’t have bothered checking to see where they’d go or if they would cross the street when the light turned green. But as I waited, he hopped a few more steps with her help. He had to stop several times, and by the time I was able to cross the street, the girl appeared about ready to try and give him a piggyback ride. I turned left and quickly made my way to them and asked if they needed any help. Apparently the guy, Matt, had broken his foot falling down some steps and they were trying to make it to the hospital. The girl and I both took an arm and managed to get him to the elevators.

While we were hobbling to where he needed to go, they kept saying their thanks and Matt kept mumbling how so-and-so random Korean person who was staring at us could go and get screwed. I’m sure he felt embarrassed by the whole situation, but I’m also glad I could provide some kind of foreign camaraderie, even if we had no idea who the other was. It’s nice to know you’re not completely alone in a foreign country when something goes awry. I’d like to think that the group of foreigners who are in Suji would be of some assistance if they came across something like this. And if you’re in Suji and you find yourself in some kind of ridiculous bind, I hope I can help you out, even if it’s just for some kind of moral support or a shoulder to help you to the hospital.

So, Matt and your friend, I hope your foot’s alright and you don’t get fired from your teaching job just because you’ll be on crutches. Take care.