"When she arrived in the city, Jemima Elliott felt very lost. Fortunately, the first thing she saw in her new flat was a map on the dining table.
Unfortunately, it was labeled in Cyrillic. But what better opportunity, thought she, to learn a new skill while discovering the city?
Even more unfortunately, Jemima was unable to decipher that it was actually a map of Bratislava. The circle in ballpoint, which she supposed marked the position of the flat, was in fact a rendezvous point for a clandestine exchange of packages.
As she explored her new neighbourhood, Jemima began to make connections between the strange lettering on the map and the Italian street names. Over a period of six weeks, she got herself hopelessly lost an average of three times a day—but she was not, she would always readily admit, very good with maps.
Slowly, however, she succeeded in superimposing Florentine buildings, streets, bridges, and landmarks onto the plan of the Slovak city. The Danube River became the Arno. St Martin’s Cathedral was converted, on paper at least, into the Duomo. Very occasionally she would make small corrections, surprised at how dramatically construction must have overtaken cartography.
By the time she had been in Florence two months, the reality of one city had been perfectly placed on top of the other. She had also deciphered, erroneously, the entire Cyrillic alphabet.
One day, twelve weeks after her arrival, Jemima was a ten-minute walk from her flat when she realised she had forgotten her exotic map. She was about to turn and walk back home when she remembered that, the previous day and without a word of explanation, a strange man had shuffled up to her and given her a two-euro coin.
Jemima decided to go to a nearby kiosk and spend the money on a new map of Florence. She became so distressed by her new purchase that it took three and a half hours to find her way back to the flat."