Map comes better crumpled

Crumpled City Maps are handy for covering up the rude bits of French statues.
Crumpled City Maps are handy for covering up the rude bits of French statues. NZ Herald - Michele Hewitson

THE kind American man at the outdoor table next to mine at the Paris bar was helping me find my way home. I had a map: The Crumpled Map. He had a book of maps.

He could have invaded Paris with his maps. I was unable to find my way home with mine. But that was user error. Home was, as always, just around the corner. We'd only had a beer. I cannot read maps, before or after one beer, or many.

He looked at my navigational instrument and said: "That's not a map. That's a gimmick." A combination of a tourist with no sense of direction and a gimmick does not make for happy navigation.

The crumpled maps boast of being an innovation in maps. They are waterproof; they can be crumpled, hence the name, and shoved in a pocket; they can ... no I can't think of anything else they could claim to be other than a gimmick.

The first two things are good. But I like a map that has every last, tiny, winding old street shown. This would have been especially useful in the Marais district of Paris where I was staying, in part because of the charm of the tiny, winding old streets. The Crumpled Map seemed to be missing rather a few of these streets.

Also, you still need to carry another map - of the Metro - which rather lessens the advertised lightweight convenience.

But it did come in very handy a couple of times. For covering up the rude bits of French statues, which would be useful if you were travelling with a prude, say.

Crumpled City Maps sell for $25 apiece.

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