My fencing academy is located at 36th and Lancaster. After my lesson I was meant to meet friends at 40th and Walnut for drinks before they went to see a film and I returned home to sleep before working an early shift tomorrow. So I made the seemingly logical choice of walking to 40th street and heading south from there. While getting to 40th, although my surroundings could not be described as picturesque or attractive by any means, I found myself thinking that something about them seemed strangely European. It wasn't until I got to 40th and realised that I didn't recognise the cross-street, that I'd been in a terrible neighbourhood for four blocks, and that I wasn't entirely sure where I was that I remembered what "European" means in relation to streets. It means "tilting in stupid directions that don't make any sense." (To be fair, Philadelphia is really quite good at becoming suddenly terrifying within a matter of blocks.) I made a quick, nervous post to twitter via text message, and Tom, gentleman that he is, called almost instantly to make sure that I was safe. Fortunately, by that time I'd managed to figure out which way might be south (It was nought but a guess. Lancaster curves in such a way that I couldn't spot downtown.) and was nearly at Market. He informed me, however, that one really oughtn't take Lancaster past 36th. Good to know. Also, this means something very important. It means that there are guys with swords at the borders of the badlands. It means, in fact, that I'm one of those guys.