Recalculating, Recalculating, Recalculating
Travelling solo in the Republic of Georgia, I had various problems. The only car available at the time was a big American Dodge. I hired a Garmin GPS.
I met Miss Garmin for the first time. I have never felt a need to get to know her before as I generally have a good sense of direction but being in a country with an unusual language – Georgian – I thought it best to take her out.
Her parents advised me that she knew exactly where all the tourist places were as she had been well taught and programmed and spoke exceptionally good English. They even told her where my guest house was.
So off I headed into the great unknown with my new best friend Miss Garmin.
Well – we did not hit it off too well at first.
She refused to speak English and no matter how much I begged, cajoled, threatened, and beat her, she flatly refused to give up her native tongue of Russian. A police car pulled up next to me and I was told in an incredibly angry tone that I was not allowed to be stopped where I was. I explained my predicament and the police officer read her the riot act and she started to speak English.
Miss Garmin led me off to Tsinamdzgvrishvili Street, as taught to her by her parents. How lovely, I thought, my guest house is in the country. Funny though, because when I saw the pics on booking.com it looked as if it was in the middle of the city.
The guest house looked like no other guest house that I have ever seen, and a kind man pointed me to go inside. Oh – a guest house in a winery – how wonderful is that! To cut a long story short – there are two Tsinamdzgvrishvili Streets in Tbilisi and although this was the one I wanted, this was not the one where I was sleeping. A quick glass of wine and a reprimand for Miss Garmin, and we were on the road again.
This time she was wonderful and took me straight to the guest house.
Day two started off with Miss Garmin refusing to listen to me, and me refusing to listen to her.
She took me up and down the smallest and narrowest street she could find in Tbilisi. It was interesting to see how the people of the city live, but after an hour and three completely different directions from three different people (including a cop and a taxi driver) I was getting a little fed up. In exasperation, I told Miss Garmin to go somewhere else in a completely opposite direction and she finally got me to the edge of town.
Finally, we were on the road into the country.
Miss Garmin was totally intolerant of my whimsical nature. Oh look – there is an interesting road – I wonder where it goes?
‘Recalculating. Recalculating. Recalculating.’.
Oh, shut up, will you!
Miss Garmin, Miss Garmin, Miss Garmin…
You started shouting at me and said that I was doing more than the speed limit of 120kph, when in fact I was only doing 75. Oh dear – why did you not warn me that I was driving an American Dodge and that it measures in mph?
Why did you not warn me of the pothole on the side of the road? If you had, I would not have a shredded tyre.
Why did you not warn me that your parents at the car hire company had not put water in the radiator? If you had, the car would not have overheated, and I would not have lost another two hours.
A policeman in a police car shouted at me over his loudhailer, telling me that I was not allowed to stop there. A woman on the side of a country road with the bonnet up!? He did not stop to help.
Neither did at least 100 other cars and trucks. I guess that because of my size – I look just like any other large, strong Georgian farm woman capable of taking care of herself. Finally, I managed to flag down a car with two men and a woman in it. After they left me for half an hour, they returned with 5 litres of water. Miss Garmin and I were off again.
Miss Garmin and I are growing closer and closer