I do not know about you, but I have mixed feelings about these Global Positioning Systems, more commonly known as GPS.
On one hand I find them incredibly useful and even though I never had any problems reading a map, it certainly is an improvement not to have to fiddle around with a massive piece of paper. On the other hand I do find that they sometimes behave a bit weirdly or not quite in real time. We own two devices of a different brand as Sexy Hubby travels a lot and I often have to venture into unknown territories too. I will not give any names but I find that we have one that tells you to turn JUST when you have passed the road you were supposed to take. Great. The second one does give instructions at the appropriate moment but when you have not used it for a long time it gets its knickers in a twist and you have no choice but to switch it off – and believe me, it takes AGES until it finally gives up – and on again, so you better not be in a hurry. All in all the benefits usually win over these slight annoyances but still, I do get completely puzzled at times with the choice of route and I have the perfect example to demonstrate this.
About a month ago I visited a friend in the afternoon. It was my first visit to her place as we normally meet in town, and she had warned that it was “in the middle of nowhere”. She was right, it took me about fifty minutes to drive to her little town and it does give you this “remote from civilization” feeling. It is however very pretty, surrounded by hills and trees, with a river running through it, and with the sun shining when I arrived I was charmed. I found my friend’s apartment without any trouble thanks to the GPS and we spent a very pleasant afternoon catching up and eating cakes. The hours flew by, and by the time I left it was dark. I got into my car and even though I was fairly confident I could make my way back I switched the GPS on to be on the safe side. At the bottom of my friend’s road I prepared to turn left but the GPS quite adamantly told me to turn right… I was a bit mystified but feeling adventurous, I decided to go for it and discover a new route home. Well, this was not my best decision ever. Even though I am sure this journey was supposed to be quicker I ended up driving through gloomy and menacing forests – loads of them – and the fact that it started to rain did not help. I also prayed that I would not break down as the screen of my iPhone kept lighting up to warn me that no network could be found. The only redeeming feature was an encounter with a lovely group of deer that took their time to disappear into the woods, thus giving me the opportunity to really admire them.
Once finally out in the open again, I went through lots of fields and lost villages – with a speed limit mostly of thirty – and as I was wondering if I would ever recognize a place again I did! It was a village where another friend had given a concert and now I knew that it would not be that long anymore. Well, I was wrong. I then got stuck behind a learner driver, fair enough, we all had to learn once, but this one was followed by a driver who gave me the impression that he had never learned in the first place! As the roads were narrow with oncoming traffic I could not overtake and therefore had to endure this for a good twenty minutes until at last they went off in another direction. I was by then close to home and the rest of my journey was uneventful.
So yes, I did discover a new way home but it took me much longer and was rather boring. Next time I will just confuse my GPS and turn left anyway.