They called it TomTom, it's a portable GPS car navigation system. A detail road map complete with voice instruction.
People use it when they are traveling to a place that they are not accustomed to. That's a photo of my brother holding the TomTom that he used when we traveled around Europe. He even used it when we were walking on foot in the streets of Milan, Italy. It was funny that sometimes we had to stop to wait for the device to process the instruction, because once we took the wrong way the device would give a warning, then it will recalculate and reprocess the navigation to give a new direction.
I don't have a TomTom. I don't think I need one here in Malaysia, my home. If I am lost, I can always ask someone, or call someone to help me.
That happened to me a lot today. I was going to IIUM campus in Gombak. My husband told me that it's very easy if I take the new DUKE highway. But I did not pay much attention to the direction he gave because I will be taking the usual route that I am used to. So, when I was on the road this morning, following the road sign on the highway, I made a turn somewhere that says, Kuantan and Gombak. Only then I realized that I was actually on DUKE highway. But I got confused when I reached the Sentul toll plaza. Why am I at Sentul? Where am I now?
So, I pulled over just before the toll, put on my hazard light and started making phone call. My husband did not pick up his phone. Called my nephew at home but he couldn't help. Then I remembered someone. Who could be better in giving me direction other than the person who built the highway? Duh... So I called my schoolmate who was involved in the construction of the highway. Following the direction he gave I arrived safely. It was so easy. Really.
At the IIUM campus, I was lost again when trying to find the office that I am suppose to go to. So I asked one of the security guard for direction. Again it was so easy, the office was just right at the main entrance. On the way, I met one of my students who greeted me with his wide grin and seeing me a bit lost he offered his help to show the way. But I said I am okay.
The office that I went to was closed. I was not in a hurry, so I am prepared to wait for the office to open until I was told that it is closed until Thursday! Today is Tuesday..hmm.. I can't wait that long..
Wandering around with nothing to do, I decided to go to the mosque. I can see the minaret, so I found my way easily.
I was getting bored, I went out and tried to figure out how to go to the library when I met another student of mine. I asked for the direction and he happily said that he is on the way there. So I walked with him to the library while he shared some of his new experience here.
Inside the library. I haven't been there for quite some time, I was wandering again until one student greeted me. " Madam, how are you? I was your student, remember me? " He looked familiar. He introduced himself and after some warm catching up conversations he pointed to me the direction of the place that I was looking for.
After having a discussion with one student at the library, it's time for me to leave. Getting out of the building, I was lost again. I was about to send a message to another student to tell him that I am lost, when suddenly I bumped into him. He was supposed to have a class, but it was canceled. I asked for the direction to CAC building where I parked my car. He was giving me the direction when suddenly another student called. She was looking for me and I was explaining to her where I am with the help of the other student. Within a few minutes she appeared with a bright smile. I said good bye to the other student and walked with her enjoying a friendly cheerful chat. She lead me near to CAC building and upon seeing the parking lot where my car was parked, I said thanks to her and we parted our ways.
Driving back home, I couldn't help smiling. It was interesting what had happened to me today. I was lost so many times and yet I found the way with the help of so many kind people today. My nephew said he found it so amusing when I told him that I actually called one of the engineer who built the highway to ask for direction. Well.. he is my friend, that's what friends are for, isn't it? He sounded surprise to receive my call this morning. I can't blame him considering the fact that this is the first time I called him on the phone since 28 years! We only recently met in our class reunion. Sorry for disturbing you so early in the morning, my friend.
I am right. I don't need a TomTom here. It's so much more enjoyable getting help from people rather than using a device.
Thank you to all my friendly TomToms today. May Allah reward you all for your kindness.