Using Waze as a Kid Helped This New Driver Learn His Way Around
Your Last 5 Drives is a series where Wazers look back on recent drives and share stories from on and off the road.
Chris is a recent high school graduate and Waze Map Editor from Trinidad and Tobago. Even though he’s a new driver, he’s been using Waze since he was playing navigator from the back seat as a kid, when the colors, reports, and icons on Waze were a fun way to pass the time in the car and help out other drivers. Now, he edits the map, knows his way around the island, and is always happy to bring his mom and grandma along for the ride. Chris shared how he uses Waze, what he’s been up to, and where to get the best slice of pizza in town. Here’s where he went, in his own words.
Take a peek inside Chris’s car:
Favorite music to listen to: Soca, that’s a big genre here. But genre doesn’t really matter to me, as long as the song is catchy and has a good beat.
Always in the backseat: My portable charger, napkins, and hand sanitizer. I’m planning to get some jumper cables because I don’t have those yet.
Best car companions: My mom and my grandma.
Favorite thing about driving: I used to hate riding in the passenger seat because I can’t change how anyone else drives. I started driving in October of 2019, and I love it. I like being in control.
How to turn an errand into a mini adventure
I drove my mom and grandma to Courts Megastore in Freeport. We were looking for a new printer because ours is broken, and I needed one to print or scan my schoolwork.
It took 45 to 50 minutes to get there. There are closer stores, but this one is new so we all wanted to check it out. I sort of knew how to get there because I’d passed it on the highway several times, but I needed Waze to tell me which exit to get off at.
We were pretty impressed with the new store — it had a nice layout, it was clean, and there was plenty of parking. The only problem was we didn’t end up finding a printer!
But to make sure it wasn’t a wasted drive, on our way home, we stopped for some fast food at this place called Royal Castle. It’s really good; it’s like KFC, but local. We’re still looking for that printer though…
When buying hand sanitizer, always buy in bulk
I went to the Starlite Pharmacy in Maraval to get hand sanitizer. My mom and grandma came along for this one, too. I love driving, so anytime we go somewhere together, I’m always the one to drive. That means we have to listen to the stations I’m into, like Hot 93.5, Star 947, and Slam 100, which is a little more Soca-focused.
On this trip, I wanted to get a one-liter bottle to refill all the tiny ones you keep in your bag or in the car. I saw an ad for it on social media and immediately thought, “Yes, we need that.” This isn’t our usual pharmacy, but I knew they’d have the larger size and I didn’t want to waste time looking for it somewhere else, so we went. We also picked up some mangoes while we were there and…they were amazing.
Good pizza is always worth the drive
On my next drive, I went to Joe’s Pizza in Maraval. It’s the best pizza in town. How do I judge that? It’s all about the sauce, cheese, and thinness of the crust. It’s just right at Joe’s. The owner is really nice and cares a lot about his customers, too. I get pepperoni, and my mom and grandma get pineapple.
We usually go every weekend, either Friday or Saturday. We go there so often, Waze will actually ask us if that’s where we’re going when we open the app.
Right now, we have to pick it up and go back home because you can’t dine inside. But we don’t want the pizza to get cold. So, we’ve come up with a system: we call halfway into the 45-minute drive to place the order, and when we arrive, one person gets out for the pizza, while I put in our new destination (home) to make sure we don’t get stuck in traffic. It might sound like a long way to go for pizza, but trust me, it’s worth it.
A trip to the recycling spot means doing your part
My last drive was to the iCare recycling bin. We don’t have a truck to pick up recycling here in Trinidad. Instead, there are bins all over the country, so you can collect glass bottles, plastic, the usual things and drop them off. I actually added this recycling spot to the Waze Map because it wasn’t on there before.
It takes about 15 to 20 minutes, and I usually go alone, which means I get to play my music louder. I go whenever our bag is filled, which typically ends up being every two or three weeks. It’s funny because, one minute, I’ll look at the bag and it’s empty, and the next minute we have three full bags.
When I drop off the recycling, I always look at the amount of plastic and think, “that could have been going in the trash instead.” So it feels good to recycle.
If you’ve been anywhere interesting lately (even if you’ve just been cruising around to pass the time) we want to hear about it.