Yesterday morning, on jogging around the neighbourhood, I came across this mock distance (and direction) signs showing the mileage kilometrage needed to reach Timbuktu and New York. Do not get fooled! It is not a signpost, it is situated on the 24/7 minimart called A***mart on Jalan Supratman near the Islamic Centre in Bandung. Since it is not a signpost and it appears on an offbeat place like this, it is always interesting for me to check whether these distance signs showing the right direction and the right kilometrage. It doesn’t matter what are they intended for, but to me if they show the kilometrage correctly it will add to the functionality of the signs.
Okay, before we go on, for those who can’t make head nor tail of their geography lessons, don’t be sorry! You are not the first person nor the last one who can’t. I’m gonna let you know that this Timbuktu is a town in Mali, Africa. (Oh, please, don’t give me that nitwitted look, I don’t have to show you where on the earth is New York, do I? ) I have no idea how this Malian town makes a name for itself, at least people know it by name, considering that this town is not even the capital city of the country. But if you are interested in the lowdown on the Malian town you can consult Wiki for sure. On the other hand, I am only interested in the validity of the information contained in the signs. If you have a world atlas software it is a snap to find out the distance between two points and voila the figures would be in your hand instantly. So that is the way I took to tell whether those figures on the signs are worthy of being distance-sign-reliable or not. And the result is……… disappointing! 😦 If you make a beeline for Timbuktu from Bandung, according to my software, it is only as far as 9,405 kilometres (though it is not necessarily the exact figures). It is not 49,990 kilometres as shown in the sign. For the New York sign, it is also disappointing because New York is only 13,850 kilometres near from the Parijs van Java (the rather disapproved moniker of Bandung since I know Bandung has more and thus it is more enchanting than Paris! Hahaha… just kidding!). Meanwhile the kilometrage shown in the sign is 38,620! How can they come up with those ‘silly’ figures?? And for the directions pointed by the arrows, on the Timbuktu sign it is (partly) correct, it is shown to the west. But it is not the case for the New York sign. The arrow should point to the east (though I know New York is not precisely eastwards from Bandung) not to the north like the one displayed by the sign!
However….. I then realised that maybe these signs are just faux ones. But what do they do there? Are they intended to attract more customers? But who’s gonna be attracted by the signs?? Ah… well…. to be honest, I am! But I am attracted to come to the place not as a customer but as an irritating Mr. Know-All who causes a downright pain in the arse who unnecessarily corrects trivial darn things like this one!