So, summer is here and people are setting off on holiday to see new places, experience new cultures, or just catch a bit of sun (that yellowy-orange – or sometimes brown, depending on where you live – thing that sets in the sky about 4pm in December…remember it?)
When I was little, we used to go to South Wales, which is a long, vomit inducing drive to a car-sick 7 year old. Later we used to drive to France for camping trips. On all occasions involving long drives, there was a map present. Maps were all we had in them days, you see. I don’t recall us ever getting stupidly lost. I’m a firm believer in maps to this day. I refuse to get a satnav/GPS system, and not just because it would probably cost more than my car is worth.
This week, a Swedish couple holidaying in Italy set out for the isle of Capri, but spelt it wrong and ended up in northern industrial town Carpi. Now, spelling errors are an easy mistake to make and I doubt there is a spell checker. But they didn’t realise their error until they went to the tourist office in Carpi and asked where they could find the famous Blue Grotto. Being that they were 400 miles away, the bloke behind the desk must have thought the Italian equivalent of Jermemy Beadle was about to jump out. A tourism official has been quoted as saying “Capri is an island. They did not even wonder why they did not cross a bridge or take a boat”. My point exactly.
I have countless friends and colleagues (and I hate to say it, but most of them are women) with sat nav who have had similar incidents. There are often two towns with the same name in France. The driver input the destination and set off, ending up 6 hours away from the place she wanted to be, and having to sleep in the car. Another set out up a closed (with clear signage) mountain pass in the Alps in winter because her sat nav told her to. It was a miracle they didn’t slip off a cliff edge. She was with her boyfriend (who was a dick) and neither of them thought about checking the directions they had been given until it was nearly too late. Several others have similar stories, and yet none of them have even considered buying a map as a back up.
“Well, I don’t need a map, ’cause I’ve got sat nav and that tells me where to go”. Bollocks. If that was the case, you wouldn’t have had to sleep in your car/drive around Granada for 7 hours and come out going in the wrong direction/go via Paris on your way from Exeter to Newcastle/get your car wedged between two concrete cows on a farm track in Milton Keynes.
I’m not suggesting that everyone using sat nav is clueless, but it seems a fair proportion of users lack a common sense gland.
Also, the voice of the sat nav woman is so annoying; if you do realise she is wrong and continue the way you should go, she almost starts shouting at you, as if you were a small child. She actually reminds me of one of my Catholic primary school teachers. If I was to own one it would only last about ten minutes into the first journey before I fell into a Clarkson-esque rant and chucked it through the window.
If you must use sat nav, always carry a map as backup, and look at it before you set off.
MORE HILARIOUS SAT NAV STORIES:
Puffin up The Power Of Sat Nav Technology
Sat Nav Blunders I suppose you could even call it Sat Nav Schadenfreude. What kind of person takes pleasure in hearing of the Sat Nav misfortunes of others. Well, the kind this blogger is obviously.
Strange Sat Nav facts Do you know how many drivers try to murder their Sat Nav?
Death By Sat Nav Has anyone been directed into a fatal situation by Sat Nav or do they just nag drivers to death
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