So, we were finally on our way towards better weather, leaving France to go prematurely onto Spain. “All I want is sun”, I repeated one too many times, every time knowing that I was breaking all the rules of non attachment and gratitude. Fog, rain or shine my attitude should have been light and cheery… sunny, despite the rain… we were on our journey without a destination… an entire new adventure: him, I, our amazing daughters and our mostly, reliable home on wheels. Travelling in all types of conditions was our expertise…
as the skies turned bluer, the inside of our RV started to warm up from a brilliant sun, and the fluffy, white clouds overhead cushioned our drive, our expressions became lighter, smiles began to grow from the corners of our semi-pouts and excitement about Spain filled every word… until he turned on the Tom Tom...
Now, let me fill you in about my husband, Andrea, for those of you who don’t know or have never read a single word about him (see my post ‘Surving Andrea’ for more detail: https://freefamilyontheroad.wordpress.com/?s=surviving+andrea). Andrea is a free spirit. Tell him to go left and he will surely go right. Tell him it is impossible and he is most likely to do it (even if he gets banged up along the way), Tell him anything and he’ll do the opposite (almost) every time. Some may call his character ‘stubborn’, but believe me, his need to be completely free is totally spontaneous and natural. A rarity these days. “Think with your own mind” is his moto. Couple up a free spirit who has always used a paper map and his fantastic sense of direction – his natural instinct – with a Tom Tom and you are bound to hit trouble. Take away his right to roll down his window and ask for directions … actually interact with a real, live person, and the situation could become desperate.
So, there we were on our way to Barcellona… sun, smiles, excitement… Kenia had accurately typed in the destination… and the electronic device was accurately doing its thing when… he started fighting with the Tom Tom, or rather the normally soothing, female voice that guides you on your way (except our soothing voice, referred to as ‘she’, was interrupted by the strilling, totally unnecessary voice of Andrea’s sister, Claudia (my brother-in-law lent us their Tom Tom). Believe me, just her voice alone could make a person go insane!
The argument went exactly like this:
I am sure it is that way, he started saying. I don’t trust it (after only 5 minutes). I don’t know where she is sending me, as he opens his 30 year old book of road maps (see the reflection in the photo) for the 3rd time in 20 minutes. Where is she sending me? I don’t know! Kenia, (who was in the back listening to her ipod) where is she sending me? (poor Kenia, is the official Tom Tom assistant)
Maybe, the roads changed from when they pubblished the book, I tried to say to calm him down, but he didn’t listen as he continued rambling on…. There used to be people. Now, there is nobody. Nobody is walking. There is nobody to ask. I HATE EUROPE!!! (wow, I thought!)… look at this… it is ridiculous (while Claudia continued to strill out her directions telling him to turn right).
He tells me to roll down my window. I obey. The red headed girl in the car next to us is distracted by loud, pop music and her texting. She finally looks up as I continued to fiercely wave for her attention. She ‘rolls down’ her window and confirms that the Tom Tom is sending us in the right direction.
But, Andrea, wanted so badly for the female voice to be mistaken… and so he continued like this:
Maybe I have to make a right. I will make a right somewhere. You are right, he finally says to me, I don’t listen.
The voice continues: ‘300 meters – exit – keep left’. Andrea goes right.
I totally stress myself, he says. I should have gone with the highway, arrived at 5pm, and enjoyed dinner. Instead, we are still here. We will never get to Barcellona this way!
But, then again, yesterday he complained about the highway…
I don’t feel its right, he continues. … I just don’t feel it… ya know.
He takes out his 30 year old book of maps (again!) and says,
…SEE, IT IS WRONG, completely WRONG! it is sending us to Lodeve… the opposite direction from Barcellona (was he right?, I started to think). I wanted to go right. I listened to the stupid Tom Tom… Vaffanculo!!!(I don’t think there is need for translation.)
Appropriately, Taylor Swift’s BAD BLOOD was seeking its way in from behind the blue curtain separating the cabin from the back of the camper to confirm Andrea’s feelings about his relationship with Tom:
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
’Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!
Now we’ve got problems
And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut
And baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!
Did you think we’d be fine?
Still got scars in my back from your knives
So don’t think it’s in the past
These kind of wounds they last and they last
Now, did you think it all through?
All these things will catch up to you
And time can heal, but this won’t
So if you come in my way
… Andrea continued to curse the Tom Tom for another 100 km until he finally shut it off… turned on his free spirit, opened up his 30 year old book of maps, rolled down his window, looked a few people directly in the eyes, and followed his fantastic sense of direction and natural instinct… and got us safely to Barcellona, with a relieved smile and before the strike of 9.
It is all about the experience… this is the journey… this is the destination… ITS ALL GOOD!
Until next time with love and gratitude from the road…