Amerikya oru cheriya sambhavam alla! Part 2

Car with GPS Navigation
They know where you are!

Once I got a bit settled to the new place I thought of calling my friends and ask if we could meet up. Karthick was first in my list. I called him, talked for some time and he said

Karthick: Hey Umesh, lets meet up in the evening and will have dinner together

Me: Cool. So will you come this side? How far is it?

Karthick: Yeah I can make it in 45 minutes. Where are you put up?

Me: I’m put up at a colleague’s vacant house. Do you know Santa Monica Pier?

Karthick: Yeah

Me: OK. Come there and if the pier is on your left, come straight down and take the…

Karthick: Hey hold on. This is USA man. You just give me your address and I will get there. Dont worry.

Me: Oops (I’m really a nincompoop) OK man. I’ll send the address to your mail.

I didn’t repeat the mistake when I called Girish. I wanted him to think that I’m cool… thanks to Karthick.

In US almost everyone has a GPS navigator in their car and the addresses are systematic and geo coded. Mapping services including Google maps have access to this database and it can show you the exact position of the address when searched for. So there is no need to “explain” to people how to go to an address. They already know it.

Btw in my second trip to US I actually helped a cab guy, who didn’t have GPS navigation, take me to an address I was going for the first time. Yes you heard it right.

One friday we got late at work (7PM) and I had to catch a cab from our office in San Francisco to my sister in law’s place in Cupertino, which is an hour long drive. 7PM is late in SFO and I luckily managed to get a cab but this guy wanted me to guide him. I pulled my phone out but it was dying. So I asked him if he has a usb port. He said yes. I connected the phone to it and made sure the phone was charging and I said…

Take 101

Google Maps navigated us to my sister in law’s door step. That was one of my hipster moments in Amerikya.

To be continued


  1. I think this was in 2010 and I had to find the route using my BB phone. google maps worked great. 🙂

  2. 90% true. But if your friend has just bought a new home in a brand new community, then most probably you still need that “and if the pier is on your left, come straight down and take the…” kind of guidance. Google & any other GPS devices will not have up-to-date map information. Until recent five six years, GPS devices were not that popular and affordable. I still keep a road atlas in my car.

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