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Death By GPS

We're back home after an absolutely AMAZING holiday - two weeks in the UK celebrating Christmas with family and a further two weeks in France exploring new regions (also known as "eating ourselves into a coma"). It was honestly one of the most memorable holidays I have ever had - made even more so by the fact that our GPS tried to kill us.

At first, we laughed it off as a glitch in the system. Nancy (our rather uppity voice on the GPS) sent us in a perfect square by asking us to turn right four times in a row. "Stupid thing." Stephen muttered before following her next instruction to turn left now. "She keeps getting stuck and losing track of where we are."

Two hours later, Nancy seemed to be behaving herself and managed to get us within 10 minutes of our first house in Champagne. She then calmly directed us onto a strange-looking dirt road that came to an end in the middle of <wait for it> an incredibly large field. A fact we only realized when we rounded the corner and simply ran. out. of. road. In a field. Full of cows.

Nancy then decided that the best possible route to our house involved turning left. Which would be fine, were it not for the small matter of no road actually EXISTING - just a driveway leading up to a house dating back to the 1800s. One hour (and MANY swear words later), Stephen finally managed to override Nancy’s insistence that there was no other possible route other than up the driveway and through the dining room of some local Frenchman’s house, by finding a better solution  - i.e. one that involved an actual road.

The next day dawned bright and clear (okay, it was cold and overcast – but we were in FRANCE, okay?) and after a healthy breakfast of chocolate croissants and fresh orange juice, we were on our way to explore the local villages. Kayla was singing along to Katy Perry’s “Unconditional”, Bella was being cute and well-behaved (also known as sleeping), Stephen was relaxed and admiring the scenery, and I was thinking how much I absolutely adore these times away together. Right before it hit me. The truck, that is. Because utterly bloody Nancy had directed us into oncoming traffic.

Yes, our reliable GPS that was supposed to keep us safe and sound in France, had just requested that we turn right now directly into the path of cars exiting the highway. And when we quickly realized her mistake and swerved to stay on the right road, she got all huffy with us and asked us to turn around where possible!

What followed was two weeks of schizophrenic behavior that we can only attribute to Nancy coming off her meds or going through some hormonal crisis. And while logic tells us that she is just the voice of a computer system, experience tells us that she quite simply wanted us to die.

Some days were great – she got us to and from champagne houses and quaint villages without much effort. She even smilingly told us she was recalculating when we missed a turnoff and lovingly congratulated Stephen when we arrived at each destination.

Other days were hell. She told us to turn a sharp right now … off a mountain in Alsace one night when we were making our way home from a day in the snow. There was also the day when we eagerly followed her new route to our favourite village, before ending up slap bang in the middle of a barn. (To this day, I am not sure who was more surprised - the farmer, Stephen or the cows. And yes, we somehow managed to reverse about a kilometer up the road, before Kayla sagely advised us that our GPS hated us.)

I would like to tell you that the story has a happy ending – and it does. We had a magical time together, Nancy didn’t quite manage to kill us (I’d like to think that she possibly softened towards us in the end), and we managed to catch our flight home on time and in one piece, despite her insistence that we keep circling our terminal.

Needless to say, next time we will be using the voice of a man.


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