I’m curious what Rogue Priest readers would do in this situation.
You’re visiting Mexico City. You took the subway to a neighborhood called Coyoacán. It’s a good part of town. When you get off the subway, you have to walk about 14 blocks to your destination.
You have an enjoyable afternoon. Then it gets dark.
As the sun sets you ask directions back to the Coyoacán subway station. Unfortunately the directions you’re given are not good. You wander far afield, rush through a dicey neighborhood and find yourself on a major street. Finally, you see a woman walking her dog. You ask directions again.
She’s confused why you want to go to the Coyoacán station. Apparently, you’ve wandered so far that another one—Zapata—is closer. You know Zapata is on the same line as Coyoacán, and either station will take you home.
- The directions she gives to the Zapata station are long and complicated. You understand the general direction, but not the complicated series of landmarks and turns. You’re pretty sure you’ll get lost finding it.
- On the other hand, the directions back to Coyoacán are simple. One long, straight walk, then turn right. But in her explanation you catch the words muy peligroso. You ask her to repeat and she confirms: you’ll go through a neighborhood she considers muy peligroso. Very dangerous.
It’s a dilemma. Going one way you face the known danger of a bad part of town. Going the other way you face the unknown danger of getting further lost, as it gets later and later at night.
You have no cell phone and no one to help you. Muy peligroso or terra incognita? Which would you choose?
And to add psychology to the game… which do you think I chose?