Three’s a Crowd: The Voices in my Car.

My car was becoming too crowded and the ironic thing was I was the only person present.
A couple of months ago, I invested into a GPS after I had gotten horribly lost in the dodgiest area of a nearby city. I went out and bought a Garmin Nuvi that same weekend and I have to say, I have not looked back since. It took some getting used to in the beginning. Inherently, I’m not the kind of person that you tell what to do. You request and provide me with other options so that I could make my own choice. SatNav Lady wasn’t quite like that, she told me where I had to go and come hell or high water, she was going to make sure that I stay on track.
I had endless fun in the beginning, driving left when she said right and hearing her get more and more excited until I could swear she shouted at me: TURN RIGHT!
She must’ve thought that I was a complete idiot and, when she finally figured out that I wasn’t and that I was doing it on purpose, she got her own back by occasionally sending me in completely the wrong road, letting the purple bar disappear quite suddenly and then telling me that she had to recalculate our route…
I promptly put her on mute the third time it happened, having decided that there was only space for one bitch in the car and it wasn’t her. My space was reclaimed…
I turned her volume on again at some point and after that we had a slow but steady alliance. On the odd occasion, I’d turn left when she meant right, but it wasn’t on purpose and on the places where I knew she had some difficulty distinguishing the roads, I tried to anticipate where I had to go without her help. I like to believe that after using her for three months that we’ve become allies, even though we would never be friends.
Today however the balance was upset with the arrival of Supertooth woman.
When my mother upgraded her phone (more than a year ago) she was given a Bluetooth hands free kit as a gift. She never used it and, after I was almost pulled over by cops on a number of occasions, I asked her if I could use it. She agreed happily and off I went to Zeerust, SatNav Lady and Supertooth woman in tow. Quite suddenly I had TWO women in the car with me, one telling me what to do and the other one telling me who was calling me (and that my call was dropped or not…).
I felt…
And, I’m sure that SatNav Lady feels threatened because Supertooth woman’s voice is way more sexier than hers. I’m of the mind to make SatNav Lady a SatNav Man, but then they might get together when I’m not looking and have babies…
I would hate for my car to look like this:


Discovering the Spoken Word

Writing can sometimes be a bit of a two edged sword, because it takes up quite a lot of my free time. I discovered a few years ago that ever since I started writing regularly, the amount of books that I read started to drop. I didn’t think of it immediately, but kept buying on books and putting them on my book case with the idea that I’ll get round to them. It came as quite a shock the day that I inspected my books and realized that there were quite a number there that I hadn’t read. So much in fact that I wouldn’t have to join the library for a full season.

I got round to reading the ‘hype’ books (which is why I can get very worked up when I read bad fiction) and did catch up with a lot of my ‘one day I’ll read you’ books when I was in England thanks to public transport but this year, the amount of books that I’ve gotten round to reading is appalling.
And, in a sense, it’s all writing’s fault because I find myself pushing more of my free time there than towards sitting down and enjoy other people’s fiction.

On impulse, I decided to by a cheapish audio book (The Postcard Killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund) in order to establish whether or not I could utilize my time in the car more positively. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.

I loved listening to a book while I was driving. Yes, it was no substitute to reading, but it was much better than listening to fading radio stations or the same old songs over and over (and over) again as I drove hundreds of miles a day. And, I got to respect the stories that were out there. The book that I’m currently listening to was also a good choice. It has a lot of suspense, interesting characters and frighteningly detailed gore. Time and time again I found myself clutching the steering wheel, wondering what the hell I was doing in the car alone with these fictional people.

It was a great experience and I believe that it’s made me a safer driver because quite suddenly I find myself savoring the drive, enjoying the story rather than putting petal to the metal in order to speed home. I was quite content to be stuck behind a truck because it meant I’d have more time listening to the book.

So, I’ve started a new habit, one which I’m hoping will catch on with my other friend who also spends a lot of time on the road. Together then we could buy books and swap them back and forth because I feel that it’s the answer to the biggest frustration we’ve experienced so far (that our time spend behind the wheel is wasted time).

If you drive a lot like I do, I can highly recommend the practice.