Ever since I played Grand Theft Auto, I have wanted to have a GPS navigation device for my car. I’ve always imagined how hassle-free it would be to go around the less unfamiliar places in Metro Manila without having to stop to ask for directions. It would be easier for me to locate hole-in-the-wall restaurants, find alternate routes in case of traffic, and go roadtrippin’, without the fear of getting lost.
Imagine my luck when I was able to find a GPS device just lying inside my dad’s car! I immediately asked if I could borrow it. Fortunately, my dad still doesn’t know how to use it and decided to lend it to me so I could test it out and later teach him how to operate it. The very next day, I installed it into my car and tested it out on the road.
The device, however, performed well below my expectations. I encountered the following problems, which ranged from annoying to utterly frustrating:
1. It seemed that it always wanted me to take the major roads (ex. EDSA). Anyone in their right mind wouldn’t take these roads unless it was necessary. I had to tediously assign waypoints so the device could properly guide me to an alternate route.
2. Some sidestreets weren’t there. How can look for shortcuts if some streets are missing?
3. Sometimes the signal goes bad.
4. Not all U-turns are there. This one is probably more of the MMDA’s fault, given their propensity to change the U-turn slots almost every month.
5. It didn’t always show the shortest possible route.
6. The voice commands coming from the device was cool. Until it tells you for the nth time to take a turn and you don’t want to. At some point you’ll want to answer back just for the heck of it.
I guess I just had too much expectation for the device. Hopefully, with some tinkering and updating, I could get it to function the way I want it to be. In any case, I always go old-school and bust out the city atlas from the glove compartment. (Which relatively wasn’t a pain to use, now that I think of it.)