Driving around Bologna

So, yesterday I was in Bologna, for an awfully looong time. Every Wednesday I go to the centre of this lovely town, same road, going, same road coming back. I have been doing this for a couple of years now. For the first year and half I’ve had the navigator on, just in case. As a matter of fact, last year, one of MY roads had been closed, so, after much getting lost (yes, I manage that even with the sat nav), I finally got there. I like to keep it simple, same route, always. That way I can think about all of those things that matter to me, clothes, shoes, etc. certainly not new roads. My husband likes to change way, he gets bored, but then men are simple, they only think about what they are doing that very moment, and it’s not a critic, I think.

Unfortunately he wasn’t there with me and I am not blond.

I has only been a few months now, without maps, without help. I felt safe. Until last week. They closed a road, again!! I got lost, and then a bit more, and then I managed to get back.

This week though, feeling remarkably brave, I actually forgot about it. You see, I have learnt to relax a little, even if I don’t know where I am, given time to spare, I go on and on, until I get somewhere, preferably not too far in the opposite direction. I have made peace with the fact that when my parents put me together, they forgot to add “sense of direction”.

Anyway, I was on my way back home, only a few hundred metres after leaving, I remembered about the road works. I decided to stop as soon as I could, which is not so easily done in the centre of a town, and start the car navigator. And Google maps too, just in case. The thing is, I don’t really understand how the car one works. It took a while and, even then I wasn’t sure…

My journey starts. I take MY usual road and unfortunately corroborate my previous thought, it’s still closed. No turning that way. I decide, while the sat navs are “calculating”, to continue straight. It’s a nice long wide road, hopefully I’ll be able to turn off it soon and be reunited with my usual way home. But both sats are thinking up a new way, “calculating”, “calculating”, so I keep on going. And that’s where they end their agreeing on the matter. One tells me to go one way, the other the opposite one. I go on a little longer, hoping they will make up their minds and agree on a way home.

Btw, there’s no phone holder in my husband’s car, and my phone doesn’t pick up if I rest it down below, where coins and things go. So, here I am, driving along this road, which I have no idea where it leads or whether I am driving away or towards home, keeping an eye on any yellow lines and trying hard to avoid them (will tell in a minute about this) , holding my phone in my left hand up high above the stirring wheel!!! Thank god my husband’s car is an automatic, no need for both hands.

Yellow lines, bad bad things which for no reason one must cross and fall into their lane. Only privileged people, not sure who apart from buses, trams and taxis, have permission to be on them. I know this because last year, when I got lost, remember?, I apparently drove along on one of these lanes with yellow lines AND I have have proof of this, a lovely memento, a fine. They actually have my photo too.

So, I am driving along this road, I start considering following directions again. Unfortunately they keep on disagreeing and the car sat says “calculating” at regular intervals, making me think she really isn’t sure where to go. So I decide I’d better follow maps. I miss several roads she wants me to turn into. Well, there are so many b***y signs to read, by the time I manage, I have missed the opportunity. Btw, the car sat nav had no sound, nor did my phone’s. Which seemed like a good idea (not that I knew how to choose whether to have it on or not). At this point though, having decided which sat nav to trust, I do want to turn off the car one, it is rather distracting anyway. I end up stopping in order to do that, but I still don’t manage…never mind I think, it doesn’t speak, I can let it run it’s course (literally!).

Back on the road, I take a left off my by now “feel safe” place on the big straight road (Via Toscana btw, I did wonder whether that meant that’s where it led!!!!) , and go under a bridge into a tunnel. Did you know maps goes dark and all the roads nice and bright when in the dark?!! Yes, isn’t this a great idea? I had never realised this before, it was rather exciting. Back out the tunnel and god knows how many turns and kms I do before I see something familiar. I know that one, I do, I think I know where I am! Can you immagine the feeling of relief at seeing something familiar?

I relax, I know the way now. I turn off maps, I know how to do that. I engage in a phone call, I still have about 20 minutes drive. I am chatting away to my favourite aunt, when the *******ing car sat nav starts speaking and telling me where to go! I feel I should do the same.

E.

If next week the road is still closed, you do know I am going to get lost again and come back a different way yet, don’t you?!!