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And the TomTom winner is.....

Posted by: ShackledMuse

Tagged in: tom tom , Navigation , maps , Lost , GPS , google maps , driving


I'm about to share the most embarrassing tale of my life to date. The humiliation is so painful, I'm only going to submit one entry...

So let me get you up to speed.

The year was 2007.

How old does that make me, 24? A 24 year old who cant drive.

(My parents parents agreed to teach me after I got my learners, and I wanted to learn all the in's and out's before I got the learners. So, after a stubborn stand off that lasted from my 17th year on this earth, till halfway through the 22nd, I decided to just do it on my own.)

I enrolled for the learner's exam thing, and passed. But still couldn't drive. And didn't have a car to my disposal to learn. A few months passed. 16, to be exact. My learner's was going to expire soon so I made arrangements for Driver's Test to take place at the end of May.

That left me with little over a month for driving tests. I managed to squeeze five tests in before the dreaded D day. I passed. Got my license. And didn't touch a car's steering wheel for the next three years.

Now as most of you know, I moved in with Mikezilla in February 2010.

November 2010 came, and Mr. Zilla had to leave for Nigeria for 2 weeks. This meant I had to go to and from work on my own. Let me clarify: DRIVING to and from work. In a car. On my own. In Joburg traffic.

Mr. Zilla had two weeks to refresh my driving memory. After work and on weekends, we went driving. In the parking lot at Shoprite at first. Then the route to work. And back home.

And then he left. I was on my own.

Ok, that was embarrassing enough, but here it gets worse...

It was a warm and sunny Friday. I decided to go to Westgate Mall after work. So I went, found entrance 4, which was quiet when you approached it from Discovery suburbia instead of the very scary Ontdekkers.

I had dinner, watched a movie, and at 22H00, I was ready to go home. So I sat in the car, in the parking lot, and quickly googled a route home. Now I could take Ontdekkers, but I have this irrational fear of traffic... So I decided to go back the way I came. Through Discovery suburbia...

If only I knew...

Somewhere I took a wrong turn. Half an hour  later I realized the car was struggling. Because I'm not used to driving uphill, and suddenly I found myself surrounded by big houses on very very a  steep hill. I pulled over and got google maps out again.

Apparently, I was in Roodekrans. Somehow, I managed to cross Ontdekkers. Unfortunately I didn't have any voice navigation to my disposal, and I'm really "rigting be-###" (like we say in  Afrikaans)

Google maps told me how to get home, but I no idea in which direction home was. So I kept driving. 

And driving.

At some point, I pulled up in a drive way. Not my way drive way. The Watch Tower Bible And Tract Society of Jehovah's Witnesses. Which is ironic, but I'll explain it later.

I was on my way again. Driving and driving and driving. If I had a Tom Tom, I would've been home within 10 minutes. Thats how far google maps said I was from home. 10 minutes. Somehow, that turned into 2o minutes.

Finally, I found Christiaan de Wet. Now I know that C De Wet will take me home. From De Wet, I'll eventually find Golf Club Terrace, and from there Bob's your auntie's husband.

Yeah, right.

Somewhere I took a wrong turn again. Drove through Hamberg eventually. All along the railway line. I KNEW that the raillway line passes home. So if I just stay on that track, I'd reach some familiar spot eventually.

So I kept going, and going, and going, and going.

Now, just for fun, lets play a little guessing game.

Remember, I left the Westgate Parking lot at 22Hoo. The time was now 00H00. Take a guess where the little road next to raillway line took me to?

The WESTGATE PARKING AREA I left 4 hours earlier...

The exact same parking area. After four hours of mindless driving.

Needless to say, I decided to take Ontdekkers, and I was home 10 minutes later.

Now, if I had a Tom Tom, I would've been at home by 22H10, and warmly cuddled up in bed by 12....

Comments (11)Add Comment
written by Doolally, July 11, 2011
LOL You sound nearly as bad as mesmilies/grin.gif I thinkyou and I both need a Tomtom, there is no hope for us hopelesssmilies/wink.gif
written by Ryc0v, July 11, 2011
You make me feel better, at least. 20 and no license (I got a learners at 17 and had a lesson). At least you got it quickly though.

Your navigation skills are legendary! smilies/grin.gif
written by Dissol, July 11, 2011
This is NOT FAIR!!! I want / need the Tom Tom, and, while when some people play the race card in competitive South Africa, I am going to play the gender card. I have put in some competition entries, but now I find I am competing against some really good female entries smilies/angry.gif Now, it is my suggestion that any female be BANNED from taking part, and that this competition should only be open to male entries.

Why? I hear you ask. Well...I shall explain. It is an absolute fact that if female becomes lost, completely lost, then she can ask or phone for directions. That option is not open to us males; we know, deep in our evolutionary soul, that to ask for directions would be to let down our whole gender. We cannot, must not, ever, ever, ever ask for directions when we are lost. Of course we can (& should) ask for them beforehand, but never after the fact. And that plays into another male issue; when we are tasked to gain information, we always, every time, have to miss out the vital information. So when we report that a friend has just had a baby, we can carefully relate the health, the time, the date, what the weather was like, what the father did, or didn't do, even the medical procedures used, the sex, the name, everything...apart from the weight (which seems to be the major priority in the female brain). Same with an invite;
"oh, so-and-so have invited us to a braai, on Saturday, we need to turn up at such and such time, I asked if we should bring anything, and they just said wine, there will be a number of other people there that we know too..."
"that's nice...where do so-and-so live?"
shit, bugger, damn smilies/shocked.gif
"errr....oh... somewhere near what's his name..."
"you've done it again haven't you? You will have to phone him back for directions"
"I CANNOT do THAT!! The window of opportunity has closed, if I phone him back to ask for directions he will know I have failed my gender..."
"You have to, as we are not going to drive around suburbs hanging out of car windows trying to smell a braai again..."

Now, if I had a Tom Tom, I could phone see there is an inbuilt get out clause if you have a new gadget:
"hello, so and so, listen, I have a new Tom Tom sat nav device that I won in a competition through the wonderful ( smilies/grin.gif ) MyDigitallife website - yes, that incredible site run by those awesome people I was telling you about (smilies/grin.gif smilies/grin.gif ), ...that's the one... Well, listen, what are your GPS coordinates, as I want to test this device, and see how really good this is..."

So...I submit, that while there have been some really good entries from Shackled Muse, and Doolally, they have to be ignored, clearly. 50% of the people here know that I am right. smilies/tongue.gifsmilies/wink.gif
written by Doolally, July 11, 2011
LOL Dissol! You must be the first man I have met (not face to face yet) that admits to not asking for directions.
written by Dissol, July 11, 2011
Well, there is no denying it! I have had screaming arguments with wife, mother, sister, physio's, and other female colleagues several times, as I refuse to pull over and ask for directions... Never, once, had that problem with a male passenger... smilies/cheesy.gif

Although I hope that you can choose the gender of the voice instructions...I am now conditioned not to react to a female voice saying "turn right" or "turn left".
"No! not that left...the other left"
"Did you mean right??"
"Don't get clever, you knew what I meant!"

We now have a code, where Mrs Dissol says turn your way, or turn my way, worked like a dream until we were in a hire car in the middle of Prague, and having the steering wheel on the wrong side completely threw her!!
written by Doolally, July 11, 2011
If you win you will be spoiling all your wifes fun smilies/grin.gif How else is she going to get a chance to nag you otherwisesmilies/tongue.gif So I think the Muse and I each need a TOMTOM rather (that way we can't be those annoying drivers in your way that don't know where they are going!)
written by ShackledMuse, July 11, 2011
I agree whole heartedly with Doolally! While it quite true and very obvious that men CANNOT ask for directions, no matter what the circumstances, this should by no means be a condition of the competition.

Clearly, if a man cannot ask for directions, it should be his problem and his problem only.

Lets look it from another perspective.

Say Dissol was in my position on the dreaded Lost Westgate evening. He HAD the option of choosing to ask for directions. He could either pull over and ask somebody, or phone a friend. REGARDLESS of having a TomTom or not, HE STILL HAD THE OPTION!

Now me on the other hand, (or any female for that matter) had a somewhat more limited list of choices. I did in fact ask for directions. I phoned my mom. But she's not a Joburger, and didn't have access to the PC version of Google Maps, so that didnt really help me. Heck, they don't even have traffic lights where she's from.

Then I phoned Mr Zilla, who was in Nigeria at the time. Clearly, the conversation had to be kept short, as the call turned out to be quite costly. And even though he explained how I could get home - remember, I'M STILL A WOMAN! We don't have any sense of direction, as Dissol so clearly stated smilies/tongue.gif So saying "Go north down that road, then turn left after so many stops," or what ever, is REALLY not gonna help me at 12AM.

Secondly, being a woman alone in the car, and it being very late at night, in the dark, in a big bad city, I CLEARLY cant just pull over and ask sommer just anyone for directions. People have bad intentions, you know.

So, when all of the above are taken into consideration, it is quite evident that we females are in greater need of a Tom Tom than any man could ever be...

written by Dissol, July 11, 2011
No, Shackled Muse, you misunderstand; I do NOT have that option. I realise this is an almost impossible concept for any female to grasp - I have been explaining this to Mrs Dissol for 25 years & she STILL does not get it. We CANNOT EVER ASK FOR DIRECTIONS. The midwife may as well say, well here's another one that will never ask directions, rather than saying its a boy. Ask Mr Zilla, ask any male, we do NOT have the option. I think it is in the chromosones personally.

And anyway, I don't buy it that Jo'burg is a big, dangerous city. A couple of years ago, I had a meeting at Monte Casino. The person I was meeting thought it would be funny to arrange for my drinks to be spiked (he wanted a job, and thought it would make me more mellow). What he didn't know is that alcohol does not mix with my drugs, and it makes me very ill... So once I realised what had happened (and informed him he did not get the job!!), I drove from Monte Casino to where I was staying in Honeydew. I had to stop the car every 100metres, and nobody came close... Projectile vomiting seems to be an effective anti-hijacking technique.

Anyway it is a Tom Tom - clearly a male gadget. I bet it is even designed to be used without having to read the instructions first!!!
written by Doolally, July 12, 2011
Hear hear for Shackledmuse!smilies/wink.gifThough I must admit that Dissol does have a point... the Tomtom is afterall named after a man...

Then again if it is named after a man that means a woman should have it! For instance it would sound odd if a man said "my Tom is waiting in the car", But if a woman said it any would be hijacker might think twice!

Eeuw Dissol, you are sort of like Angel (from Buffy) when his drink was spiked... your nasty side comes out smilies/grin.gifsmilies/tongue.gif
written by Dissol, July 12, 2011
it was not so much my nasty my insides!! smilies/shocked.gif No fun at all.

It has got 2 male names... Tom Tom. Maybe they will produce a female model - a Sue Sue? That model will tell you to turn right instead of left! It will also tell you when you are driving too fast...or when you do not have 2 hands on the wheel. It probably will not have a mute button either... But then again, it will be tricky to turn on, as the switch will never be in the same place twice... But then...we would not want to be without it!!! smilies/grin.gif
written by Charmed, July 13, 2011
Hi ShackledMuse. I need to get hold of you about something new.. which would be the best email address to mail you? Please may I ask that you send me the address via private message or drop me a mail on ? Thanks!

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