Feature - Dysfunction Junction 

You can get there from here, just don't ask for directions

'Tis the season. 'Tis the season to cram the busses, to not sweater your dogs and to camp out at the post office. 'Tis the season to reconnect with your roots and your family, but moreover to reconnect with how directionally dysfunctional this village is. Whistler was designed by a man with a penchant for curvy, inaccessible structures and improbable flowing organic designs. It is pretty - don't get me wrong - but it is dysfunctional junction.

"You can't say 'go down two blocks', cause everything is round. The buildings are round. It is impossible." - resident of 1.5 years

A couple approaches me outside The Brewhouse. They are looking for The Westin. Can I help them? Yes, I can help them, I live here, I can see The Westin clear as day in my little head. I take a breath and my eyes dip momentarily for the snow. Okay, I can do this. First, I need to ascertain:

If they are walking or driving.

If they are familiar with the village.

If they know where the liquor store is in the village. Then I need to be sure that it is the one that is open more often, the one opposite a grocery store, but directly opposite, not divided by a parking lot.

Failing these, I ask, "You see this red building?"

"I usually say, 'you see this building in front of us? Okay. Well, pretend it isn't there, and go straight." - resident of six years

The couple line up behind me to follow my sight line. "Go to the other side of it, and carry along down the road."

"To the right or the left?"

"Left is better, but both are fine. Main Street is a horseshoe," I reply, and then psycho-kick myself for complicating this arduous process for these nice people.

"And then you want to go left. That is Northlands Boulevard, and just keep going. You will come to a light, cross the road, then turn right on the road that comes up. You will see a Royal Bank, and then you know you are on the right track. Carry along past the Crab Shack and The Westin will come up on your left."

In my mind's eye I have attained my goal. I am at The Westin, I can picture the lobby and the friendly guys outside. I turn, triumphant to the visitors. Their mouths are shut, they sustain weak congratulatory smiles, but their eyes communicate distress.

"Just go that way and ask along the way, it is a big hotel," I attempt to pacify them as well as myself. They leave, and turn left onto Village Stroll. They don't cross over to Main Street. From my spiel they retained that The Westin is quite a long way to the left. I shake my head and think about writing about how frustrating giving directions can be in this place.

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