Monday, 1 March 2010

Knowing where we are

When we getting ready to come out to Bosnia we looked into the possibility of getting a GPS system for the car. Or more accurately Dave looked into it, being a fully signed up technophobe I muttered something about being able to map read just fine thank you and what a waste of money.

Anyway, at the time it turned out that Bosnia was a bit of a black hole GPS-wise. Perhaps it was the abundance of military bases which made it difficult for them to put the information on the map. Perhaps it was the mountainous terrain. I have no idea. But what happened was you would be piling along the road in Croatia with lots of info, turn right to go into Bosnia and nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. According to GPS when you enter Bosnia you have fallen off the end of the world.

The technophobe in me loves this. I hate GPS. I love maps. I like trying to develop my sense of direction using my own noggin. It isn't difficult in Tuzla. Tuzla is a city in a valley. You are either going east-west along the valley floor or up the hills in a northern or southerly direction. Sure the roads on the hills get a bit random and windy but you usually come out somewhere you know. As long as you don't hit the dirt tracks at which point it is time to turn around and come back down again.

Last night we went to some friends for dinner. They were fresh back from Italy bearing cheeses, wines, meats, chocolates. It was a gourmet extravaganza and we celebrated the fine foods by drinking far too much fine prosecco and chianti. Weaving our way home was taking far too long so we decided to get a cab back.

Readers, Bosnia has arrived. For the cab had GPS. And not just a GPS for show either. It worked. With all the roads and everything. Not that the journey home is especially difficult, nor I imagine are any of the routes the cabbie takes. But he had his GPS on. And Bosnia takes another step towards catching up with the rest of Europe.

23 comments:

TheMadHouse said...

Pmsl, but I am glad you toook a taxi what with all that wine!!!

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Yay for advancing technology. Our Sat nav isn't much cop over here either as a whole village can share the same postcode. Doesn't stop t'husband from using it though!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Have to say I'm map mad too. Love 'em. personally think all this technology is very de-skilling. I can read a map & am proud of it, & much more of a sense of achievement when u get somewhere using yr own nouse. And wthout having to do that stereotpyical female thing of asking directions either, tho wdn't mind doing so; tapping into local knowledge seems the ultimate in logical reasoning, much more so than relying on a sat nav. of course drunk, in ataxi & mapless is the obvious exception:o)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm a technophobe too, wouldn't know where to start with GPS!

CJ xx

Owen said...

Sad. The best way to get to know a place is to get lost there.

The Caffeinated Globe said...

I like your writing. I really do.

http://caffeinatedglobe.blogspot.com/

nappy valley girl said...

I've never used a GPS system - I love maps too. I travelled in the car with someone recently who has lived here for years, but has no sense of direction due to using one, whereas I already feel I know the geography quite well. Still, it must be good to know that Bosnia is on the map!

WeDoAdventure said...

Disillusioned!

Anonymous said...

hey I have a question for you....in regards to the driving permit (license). Are you using your UK-one, or did you have to exchange it or just translate it and they gave you Bosnian one...???

Thanks in advance,
alex

Michelloui said...

I never thought I was a technophobe but I keep getting messed up and lost when I use the GPS on my phone and I Never Ever get lost when I use a map. I love love LOVE that you love maps by the way, I get so fed up with women stating that Women Cant Use Maps. Drives me nuts.

And even though you can use maps, it must be kind of nice that Bosnia is all GPSed up now, just in case, I guess!

Chic Mama said...

I have a terrible sense of direction map or not. Sat nav for me....except I don't have it anymore.
How great is that....moving forward and you got home safely after all that wine! ;0)

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Ah I love a good satnav story! You're right: males love them.
We went on a fly-drive round Eastern Canada and the GPS began by speaking in French, which threw us initially, then ended by sending us to the freight depot of Montreal airport. I kept my maps with me!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

MH - car is out of action, taxi is the only option. We made the most of it.

VBC - that'll be the male obsession with technology over common sense then!

Paradise - I love maps. They are wonderful documents. Legacy of a geography I guess. I think I'd have more of a fighting chance reading a map whilst drunk than working a sat nav!

CJ - me neither!

Owen - we have done plenty of getting lost here.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Caffeinated Globe - thank you.

NVG - feels better that we aren't in a black hole at any rate. But nothing beats a good map. I have some up on the walls here, hoping to get the boys into maps before technology gets hold of them.

WDA - me too.

Alex - we still use our UK photocard ones. We've learnt our lesson on the bureaucracy front. If we don't HAVE to do it, then we don't. You probably should, but we decided we should probably have imported the car and that was the biggest mistake that we made.

Michelloui - My husband and I had a map reading competition on our first walk. He lost. He doesn't bring it up very often. Our best combination is him driving, me map reading. The alternative is ugly.

Chic Mama - it must be difficult to be used to using it and then not having it. I'd not miss it having never had it. And the wine filled evening was worth it. x

Trish - Dave so wants one. I think it is a waste of money. Bet you were glad you kept your maps with you. I'd never rely totally on sat nav. Wouldn't be able to work it anyway!

kfccons said...

Nice post. Glad to hear that Bosnia is on the SATNAV "map". I spent a year running convoys in Bosnia as a NATO peacekeeper with IFOR in '95-'96 and remember many times thinking that the tiny road I was on could not possibly be the same road represented by the thick black line on my map!

Tattie Weasle said...

I just love proper maps - can even when pushed to six figure grid references though not as fast as Google....

A Modern Mother said...

I love GPS (most of the time). I am not map reader. Ican make a good cup of coffee though. I think we'd make good travel companions.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

kfccons - I still feel that way about most the roads here, GPS or not!

TW - there are a lot of us map lovers out there!

MM - road trip? With coffee? You are on!

Emily O said...

I'm a big map fan. I trained to become a town planner (and never became one). That's how much I love maps. I have a good sense of direction too (unusual in a woman, I know). I don't like relying on sat nav because it can take you on strange detours. But you have to give in to it I guess. Bosnia sounds like it's really catching up!

Emma said...

I'm all about the map. The two times that I've borrowed a sat nav were the twp times I got completely lost!!! I think I may not be good at being ordered around!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info about drivers license.
alex

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Emily O - there are a lot of us map fans out there. My children will certainly learn how to map read, I think it is a very important skill!

Emma - that might have something to do with my reluctance for sat nav too. And maybe why I don't like my husband map reading either!

Alex - no problems. We are pros onthe Bosnian bureaucracy front. Ask away!

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