Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The 'Treasure-Hunt' feeling!

I vividly remember one Friday in September when I left office at 4.30 pm to get AAA maps of New York City [AAA closes at 5 pm]. If you have noticed a AAA map, it is HUGE! It spans across almost a 3*3 table top and the street names are tiny. As I was driving home (and thence on to NY with wife), I had this strange sense of excitement and anxiety within me and I could not understand why.

It struck me a while later that it was because of those AAA maps! Apart from the mapquest printout from and to my sole destination point in NY city [I did not have a GPS], I had not taken any further mapquest printouts and I was totally relying on the AAA map. This feeling of finding out driving directions from a paper map was alien to me and feeling was almost akin to a treasure hunt! Hence the excitement! I was totally looking forward to it! Just goes to show how a device like GPS can kill or mute an innate human feeling of excitement.

Manhattan, with its streets and avenues and traffic jams, is a pain to drive as it is but with no clear sense of direction, it is even more difficult. But I was able to manage it with ease and learnt a lot more about Manhattan than I would have if I had used GPS [A related post]. Not just that, it was plain fun to find roads by myself through paper maps and navigate through the NYC traffic.

PS: I finally fell to the charm and versatility of the GPS and bought one last month.


mvadu said...

Well.. I bought GPS soon after I was lost while driving to IHOP, with same map quest printouts.. took an hour and a half to figure out where exactly I missed a turn and reach there..

But GPS did not stop my "joy-of-self-discovery".. I usually use GPS for the first time I go to some place (to save time), and next time onwards, I try to drive on my own.. I keep GPS as last resort.. just in case I am really lost and can not figure out my way.

btw.. can you use your GPS in India? do you even get GPS maps (which you can load to GPS hardware) for India?

Harsha S Rao said...

Gothilla..I dont think it works...anyways, here we only have to ask...in US, its not easy to ask as there are hardly any pedestrians...