Few of the Cars which I enjoyed (not driving them but being a navigator) - Pontiac G6, Pontiac Vibe, Ford Mustang, Chevy Impala, BMW 3 series, Mercury Milan, Toyota RAV4, Mazda....... a couple more in the list.
Being a car freak, I coaxed constantly my dear friend Satish to change cars that was rented every 2 weeks. Geeeeeee :-D
Being a navigator is more strenuous than being a driver. You know why?
Got to be always alert so that even if the driver snoozes away; the navigator can wake the driver up.
Don't believe me? It happened with me. Here's what it is.
We use to have night out each day in Las Vegas; roaming around; Me enjoying the neon and the architecture and the casinos while the guys ogled at ahem..ahem...the gals; and one day as usual when we were driving back to the hotel at 6 AM after a tiring night, Satish(our dear friend) actually zzzzzzzz'd off at a signal on The Strip!!!!
It was a spur of a moment and we realized what was happening only when we saw him remain still without any sort of responses even after the light went green. I had to knock him off and say "GO!" I can still recall the shocked reactions on the faces of others and his sudden "Oh!" reaction just being waken up from his reverie.
Navigators are also very very indispensable when you have to find a way. Hmm, this reminds me of a situation one day - at 9 PM when I and Satish got lost on US-101. We missed our EXIT. Had to go on for more than 10 miles to get the exit and then again, missing it. How helpful I was to him - to read a miniature map that we got for free at the car rentals. Struggled to read the map, somehow managed to give him directions and got hold of the EXIT - this time we took it right, though it took1 hour late to reach our destination while cruising 20 miles more.
Few may argue that there was always GPS, so why a navigator? Navigators are required to feed in the destination to GPS and to read from them. Yet, there are times when GPS go wrong - which it did numerous times with us. Getting into LA downtown was cumbersome as GPS always pointed to a wrong free way exit which made us go round and round of the LA's Financial District. GPS couldn't get us directions when we ventured to Big Basin Redwoods State Park either.
It requires a lion's heart to endure a drive when driven by a person who has just learnt driving. My friend wanted to drive when we went on a holiday from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I was a navigator then - sitting alert throughout my journey pointing to him time to time whenever he was on the verge of jumping lanes. I sat all night awake - alert...Phew!!!!
After all that, he still managed to jump lanes as he took the exit onto the ramp; guess what? We were just 200 metres away from home. It was 1st January. The Highway Patrol stopped us. He didn't have a license. The cops let us free after some initial query. That was a real close call. I still don't know even to this day what it was that we could come clean! Maybe as it was New Year's Day, they were casual. Was it luck? prayer? Don't know.
Another time, I and Satish were coming back after lunch. Both of us got into an argument of having to preserve our Indian-ness and other patriotic things. He being careless as always, started driving the wrong way. You see, he was over whelmed and filled with patriotism that he started driving as he drove in India. As a navigator, I should have been alert. I forgot too. And we realized our folly only when a queer driver who was coming in opposite direction gave a stare and had to stop; as we had occupied the road. Oh my!!
Oh yeah, before I sign off, navigators have lots of added advantage. They can enjoy the drive without having to concentrate on the road, look at beautiful visuals, click pictures, turn around, look behind; while drivers cant take that freedom!
So if you have been a navigator, thumbs up!!! We are half-drivers.
The car which I really miss now is my friend's own BMW 320. It was bought just brand new and I would just sink in its luxury - enjoying the drive and the soft music and the CAR!!!. Here it is!