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Go West
Go West

Go West they used to say, and West we went, because it had streets paved with gold and we could pursue happiness there. But things have got complicated lately, as other directions have been added to the original West, South, East and North. As a result, people are confused, unable to decide on where they should be going, and why. Eventually, many end up where they do not belong. So, for those easily lost, here's a quick guide to the new directions.

Floomst was discovered in 1954 by mathematician R.S. Cherdkiatgumchai, who submitted his find to the Indian Journal of Topological Oddities. Roughly situated between West and South, Floomst is so narrow that, in the past, big mammals such as cows and human beings could only get there by accident, and those who did so died alone, unable to go back home. Seeds and butterflies have always travelled Floomst, being light enough to be carried by the wind, so that Floomstern areas are rain forests and lush grasslands, void of loud and smelly creatures. Fortunately, Cherdkiatgumchai designed a two-way compass to make trips easier, and there are now Floomstern holiday resorts and plans to use some of the land as a dumping ground for our overflowing trash.

Unveiled in 1963 by one of Cherdkiatgumchai's students, Hgiik is opposite to Floomst, and is not permanently open: it switches itself on and off. The usual way to go Hgiik is to travel Floomst first and proceed from there. Cherdkiatgumchai claimed that Hgiik's timing pattern was random and that he couldn't figure it out, but he never seemed to have trouble going there, and spent most of his latter years in the windy loneliness of the Hgiikern barrens. In any case, the uninhabited Hgiik is a wonderful place for trekking.

Plazth is heisenbergian: you can't know where it is and be there. It was first a hypothetical direction formulated by Cherdkiatgumchai in 1974, after a decade of Hgiikern wanderings and he first declared that travelling Plazth was theoretically impossible. In 1983, he announced that he had worked out the change patterns and found a path to Plazth. His students volunteered to accompany him, as well as a TV crew. The party set out on February 1985 from an Hgiik-Floomstern base camp and disappeared, never to be seen again until 1992.

Wryboh is the direction from where Cherdkiatgumchai and his students re-emerged in December 1992, literally out of the blue. The TV crew had strangely been replaced by a party of howling monkeys. Cherdkiatgumchai looked tired, and not really in a talkative mood. Actually, he came home, changed clothes and departed instantly to the safety of the Hgiik, leaving his students to tell what had happened, with the backing howls of the monkeys. It was in the press conference that the name Wryboh was