Taking the Scenic Route

Leaving Cologne, The Autobahn, Part II

18th August 2008

Leaving Cologne, The Autobahn, Part II

As we were finding the highway, I saw this out my window

The navigation system, again, didn’t really know where we were for a while and kept trying to get us to turn into buildings. Eventually, on one of the more major roads, it started working correctly.

Over the Rhine

And this made me feel right at home.  (except that the driver had to be completely insane to drive a long hayrack, pulled by a tractor, through the city of Koln)

Once again Ms. Navigation Lady was leading us back to Attendorn on the curvy countryside roads. They are lovely, but we were hoping to get back there before dark, and really didn’t want to go down hairpin turns at night, so we pulled over to see if there was another setting that would direct us back to the autobaun instead of through the countryside. After flipping through the settings, we guessed that “Fast Route” might be what we need. After some anxious minutes trying to follow where it was taking us on the map, it finally lead us back to the Autobaun and we were off.

The sun was behind us and the road stretched out in front of us and it was fun. Great weather, great driving. Not so great navigation system. As we neared the intersection that would lead us on another short jaunt on a different autobahn highway before turning off towards Attendorn, the navigation lady told us to “Prepare to stay in the left lane in 300 meters”, (is she worried we will ignore her again and giving us a bigger warning now?), “…200 meters”, then “Stay in the left lane” and we watch what we thought was the exit go by on the right hand side. Just as we wiz pass the only exit, she insists “Turn Right NOW”. Um, lady, we are in the left lane, and the only thing to the right is through the barriers, off the bridge and down the hill. Not gonna happen. She then starts her “New Route, Make a U-Turn” in her sing songy voice again. She keeps repeating it to the point Zach and I are laughing as we argue with her that there is no place to turn around. Then she starts with “Off Road….New Route, Make a U-Turn”. Eventually, her meltdown turns to begging us “Off Road, Please Follow Arrow” (little arrows on her screen). More of the “Please follow arrows” and “New Route, Make a U-Turn” in that same sing-songy voice has us laughing so hard we have to slow down.

We find a place to turn around. She seems happier. She is now “Calculating a New Route” and we are back on the highway, cruising along. Pretty soon we are getting the warnings that the turn off is coming, except that when we come upon the exit, it is closed. Navigation lady doesn’t know it’s closed and is throwing another hissy fit. “New Route, Make a U-Turn” (a phrase that is now so stuck in our head that we know Zane is going to pick it up anyway because it is becoming part of our lexicon). She was convinced we were off roading again (clearly, she doesn’t know what off roading actually is, but if she is as autistic as she sounds, she wouldn’t like the dirt much). Nine KMs down the road we can turn around again, and she recalculates again.

This time, as we approach our intersection, when she tells us to “Prepare to stay in the left lane” we tell her where to put it and go into the right lane, get off the exit, and wonder of wonders, are actually able to follow her desperate plea of “Turn Right NOW” when she says it because we ignored her earlier.

She does a good job the rest of the way, except that we don’t follow her directions into the center of town (off roading again, apparently) and after a few more “New Route, Please make a U-Turn) we shut her off. We know where we are going and don’t need her any more.

Up the hill and to the castle festival for our last stop of the day.

(just a note, we are in no way being critical of autstics here…it was just our experience of the sing song repetitive phrases that autistics often have as they are scripting or using delayed echolalia. We could clearly hear Zane’s voice in our heads repeating the exact phrasing she used, and we found joy and humor in it, as only other parents/caregivers of an autist would probably relate to so well)

This entry was posted on Monday, August 18th, 2008 at 1:37 PM and is filed under Attendorn, Autistic Life, Autobahn, Cologne/Koln, Germany, Travel. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There is currently one response to “Leaving Cologne, The Autobahn, Part II”

  1. 1 On August 18th, 2008, feebee said:

    Want see new route make a U turn? Okay! Sure! I getchoo new route make a U turn! SURE!

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 5 months, and 26 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 5 months, and 30 days old
  • Random Quote

  • There is no such thing as inevitable war. If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom — Bonar Law

  • Subscribe

Spread the Word

 Log in