Despite how the service has proven itself reliable again and again, there was that odd occasion on a road trip to Abuja when I got lost by google Maps.
No, no, no; I didn’t need the app to get me from Lagos to Abuja. As a matter of fact, I suspect that I can drive to Abuja with my eyes closed by now and not run into a ditch. Of course, if you believe that, you will believe anything. 😁
But you get the point: I know my way by road from Las Gidi to the sprawling city of Abuja. The problem starts after I get into Abuja city.
Heading into Abuja via Abaji, Gwagwalada junction is a landmark that I know well. I am also familiar with the intersection after Gwagwalada from where one turns right on to Airport road. I know the airport junction along that road, and perhaps it is some distance after that that my built-in GPS – which is very good by the way – starts to spin endlessly and clueless. From that point on, Abuja’s network of roads get confusing.
Perhaps I should spend a month in the city to really get acquainted. But the fear of ending up in penury is real. Abuja, I hear, is a super-expensive place for non-big boys to be. And that is saying something, considering that I live in the hell hole called Lagos.
From Airport Road Intersection
But let’s back up a bit all the way back to the Airport road intersection after Gwagwalada. On this particular trip to Abuja, I arrived there around 8 pm. Yes; I drove into Abuja in the dark of night. My car’s reserve light was on already, for alas, there was fuel scarcity at the time.
So, I did what any self-respecting pseudo-techie would do: I whipped out Google Maps on my smartphone and hunted for the closest hotel that the son of man could afford.
The directions I was given meant that I didn’t have to turn right into Airport road, but rather proceed straight down the highway I was on in the direction of Kubwa. According to Google Maps, the hotel was on the right some distance ahead before Kubwa. It was dark. I was a stranger trusting an app to not get me lost. But what options did I have? So, I proceeded.
Finally, a few minutes down the road, the sweet feminine voice giving me directions said, “You have arrived at your destination”. I pulled over slowly, and stared to my right into the complete darkness that sat mocking me in the dead of the night. There was nothing there. Nothing.
I looked across the highway to see whether perhaps someone charged with data input at Google had made a mistake in the positioning. The other side of the highway was empty too. There were no buildings anywhere in sight.
Google Maps had led me on a wild goose chase into no man’s land. If I were a special agent or something of the sort, I would have picked up my special radio and yelled, “Alpha, Romeo, Tango; Mister Mo is lost! I repeat: Mister Mo is lost!”
PS: I know you are dying to hear the rest of the story. I know. Yes; sue me. Or let me know in the comments section how badly you want to hear the rest of the story. 😁😁😁