I travel a lot, and I find out different “styles” of directions every time I ask “How can I get to the post office?”
Foreign tourists are often confused in Japan because most streets there don’t have names; in Japan, people use landmarks in their directions instead of street names. For example, the Japanese will say to travelers, “Go straight down to the corner. Turn left at the big hotel and go past a fruit market. The post office is across from the bus stop.”
In the countryside of the American Midwest, there are not usually many landmarks. There are no mountains, so the land is very flat; in many places there are no towns or buildings within miles. Instead of landmarks, people will tell you directions and distances. In Kansas or Iowa, for example, people will say, “Go north two miles. Turn east, and then go another mile.”
People in Los Angeles, California, have no idea of distance on the map; they measure distance in time, not miles. “How far away is the post office?” you ask. “Oh,” they answer, “it’s about five minutes from here.” You say, “Yes, but how many miles away is it?” They don’t know.
It’s true that a person doesn’t know the answer to your question sometimes. What happens in such a situation? A New Yorker might say, “Sorry, I have no idea.” But in Yucatan, Mexico, no one answers “I don’t know.” People in Yucatan believe that “I don’t know” is impolite. They usually give an answer, often a wrong one. A tourist can get very, very lost in Yucatan!
1. When a tourist asks the Japanese the way to a certain place, they usually ______.
A. describe the place carefully
B. show him a map of the place
C. tell him the names of the streets
D. refer to recognizable buildings and places
in Japan, people use landmarks in their directions instead of street names，日本使用有辨识作用的地标来指路。
2. What is the place where people measure distance in time?
A. New York.
B. Los Angeles.
文中有很明确的答案：People in Los Angeles, California, have no idea of distance on the map; they measure distance in time, not miles.
3. People in Yucatan may give a tourist a wrong answer ______.
A. in order to save time
B. as a test.
C. so as to be polite
D. for fun
People in Yucatan believe that “I don’t know” is impolite.所以他们宁可给出错误答案，也不说“我不知道。”
be across from: 在……的正对面
New Yorker: 纽约州人或居民,纽约市人或居民