If you want to get lost, use a GPS (Global Position Service.) I Googled the GPS and over 90% of users get lost. Worse, some have driven into rivers, canals, trees or even the sea. The problem is that roads change quicker than GPS’ map updates. It means that, at times, when you are firmly told to ‘turn right or left within fifty metres’, you should ignore it, the road has long gone. The female GPS voice sounds as if she can’t be mucked around with. “Turn left ,turn left now” she commanded often. I feel intimidated and sometimes squirm by my own GPS, stuck centimetres away from my face by a plastic suction cap. How is it possible?
Just over the border in Queensland we did just that. It was 9pm and dark. I obeyed the satellite lady and promptly turned left into a green field and hit a pitch black Angus cow right into her udher udder. It could have been worse. Imagine turning into a new shopping mall with a mum and a baby pram on their way buying a dummy?
This is what the world of navigation and satellite has turned us into.
Over 40% of roads change yearly and the advice is to download maps at least twice a year. No matter where one turns, the internet is lurking somewhere to take your money. The maps on Tom-Tom downloads costs $ 99.-per country. Having paid $89.- for the gadget, I am tempted to just keep buying GPS’s with updated maps.
We were away for eight days and apart from GPS troubles and the Angus udder, we were blissfully away from internet or anything remotely connected to keyboards or a mouse. It was heaven.
The address that I had put into my GPS was inner city of Brisbane. We left Byron Bay as happy as Larry and I was even whistling. The night before we enjoyed beautifully hypnotic and suitably amplified music by Akova and in between sipped a quiet Sauvignon Blanc. We ate some delicious culinary unchallenged dead flat-head fish cooked in butter, garnished with parsley, lemon and garlic. We danced and were rocking. The waves were pounding on sands metres away in sympathy with the music’s drums and the proudly navel exposed stomping crowds.
The estimated time to reach inner Brisbane was 2hrs. When the time had passed we were still uncomfortably away from any inner city. Last time I could have sworn Brisbane had buildings over one story high and certainly not clad in fibro. ‘You have reached your destination,’ she of the GPS voice announced. Helvi and I had been quiet for the last fifty km’s as not anything resembling Brisbane had passed our window.
I asked Helvi if Toowoomba was part of Brisbane or Ipswich? ‘I don’t know’, she answered.
The street’s name was right but it wasn’t inner city Brisbane. A boy was sitting on a car tyre. A lawnmower was rattling away with a sun burnt man in a singlet staring at us. We were hopelessly lost and I took things in own hand. I ripped the suction cap held GPS from the window and strangled it on my knee. It made a last gasp, gurgled a final ‘turn left’ before it went all funny and black.
We stopped and I phoned my inner city sister. We were 39 km’s from Brisbane.
‘Why don’t you use a map,’ she told us.