January 15th, 2013

So this is the question: was it the same woman?

The one who drove 900 miles out of her way when her GPS told her to, despite the fact that she was intending only a 90-mile trip? And the one who stole the train and crashed it into a residential building?

I certainly hope it’s the same woman. I’d hate to think there are two of them running around (excuse me: driving around) loose.

Here’s the first:

The woman only wanted to go about 90 miles from her hometown of Hainault Erquelinnes, Belgium, to pick up a friend at the Brussels train station. Her GPS device sent her about 900 miles to the south before (during the second day of driving) she realized that something was amiss. It’s unclear if she entered the address incorrectly or if the GPS was faulty.

Discovery explains that the driver, Sabine Moreau, stopped twice for gas, slept on the side of the road, and “even suffered a minor car accident” along the way. She told El Mundo that she wasn’t paying attention.

“I was distracted, so I kept driving. I saw all kinds of traffic signs, first in French, then German and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realized I wasn’t in Belgium anymore.”

Sounds like Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” doesn’t she?

And the second:

A woman stole an empty commuter train from a depot Tuesday and drove it to a suburb of Stockholm where it derailed and slammed into an apartment building, officials said.

The woman was seriously injured in the early morning crash and was flown to a Stockholm hospital, police spokesman Lars Bystrom said. No one else was injured.

Bystrom said the woman was arrested on suspicion of endangering the public.

I know, I know: the first was 67, and the second was born in 1990. The first was Belgian, the second Swedish.

But still, a person can hope, can’t she? Gives the expression “woman driver” a whole new meaning (or, is that expression not allowed any more?).

31 Responses to “So this is the question: was it the same woman?”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    An african american woman who was a colleague at work found out that i was living above a christian bookstore, and decided to visit.

    she lived in ny city, manhatten
    we worked in rye ny
    she took my directions and the highway and made it to my home and the store.
    then when she left, she waved goodbye..

    the next day she told me of how hard it was to get home. she had decided that it would be easy if she just followed the sun. except that the sun sets in the west, and she lives east of me.

    so instead of ending up in california, she ended up in albany…

    there are many like her…

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    I shoul point out that at no time when you drive a train, do you have control of where it goes. you only have control over forward and backwards… (and some dont go backwards – ergo the engine at the back facing the wrong way)

  3. Artfldgr Says:

    here is a better question about a woman!!!

    who is Lisa Jackson?
    where did she work at the EPA?
    who is Richard Windsor

    and why are they not in jail for the practice itself?

  4. Artfldgr Says:


    these women are the future!!!!

    superior in every way… more equal than equal
    able to solve problems with a single intuition

    they can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ever let you forget your a… divorced man in the basement without visitation and bills that exceed your salary

    NYPD cop beaten so severely by marijuana-carrying suspect, she might not be able to return to job
    Officer Renee-Maria Sampson, 29, was allegedly pummeled by Pedro Urena after she spotted him holding a joint on the lower East Side.

    Officer Renee-Maria Sampson and her partner Temeisha Hoyte, both four-year NYPD vets, were patrolling a building in the Lillian Wald Houses on the lower East Side on Nov. 23 when they spotted Pedro Urena holding a lit joint, authorities said.

    The cops called for backup, but before other officers arrived, Urena attacked, punching them both and slamming them against a wall, according to a complaint.

    Next, he grabbed each cop by the neck and tried to choke the life out of them, according to police and a criminal complaint.

    “At one point, Urena takes them and hits their heads together,” added one source. “Then he tried to drag both cops into his apartment.”

    Backup officers arrived just in time, and Urena was arrested.

    dont ya feel safe that two women could not handle an average sized man committing a misdemeanor

    go on youtube… they put them up faster than pc youtube can take them down.

    The 29-year-old officer has yet to return to work. At 5-feet-2 and 105 pounds, she was overpowered by Urena, who is 5-feet-11 and 180 pounds

    yeah… a 6’3″ 223 lb man like me feels safe that they cant handle it, and i would have to jump in or others to save them…

    i wonder what he would have done with them in the apartment?

    the people who created this situation are just as nutters as the more than equal ladies you posted of

    here are some more examples of the results of such sane thinking… and more than equal
    (do note that everyone of them gets to retire with a higher than normal disability pension… its like a disability factory) – feel sorry for the daughter

    and here is one taking care of presumption of innocence. i feel bad for the male cop… as she is useless other than beating on someone with a stick

    Tiny cop and big man
    the “hobbit” is lucky that he doesnt want to hurt her, and just wants to go home..

    meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum… the use of the automatic judgments and perceptions for advantage and revenge…

    you know they bust the guy first. so does the woman who attacks first, then watches them take the guy away. she bit him. a woman with three+ kids by two men and they are all together in this video. at 4:03 you find out that the man who is upset is a victim… but he still goes to jail (and doesnt press charges on other men)

    welcome to the wacky matriarchy!!!!!

  5. holmes Says:

    Given this tragedy and crises of rogue commuter trains being hijacked, we must reduce and regulate access to public transportation!

  6. oldflyer Says:

    I occasionally get distracted and go a block or so out of my way. I hope I never meet a driver so distracted that he/she could cross multiple languages without noticing. I know that
    European countries are small, and Europeans pride themselves on being multi-lingual, but this is ridiculous.

    Derailing a train takes some skill. When I was a kid there were derailing devices that could be activated to keep trains from from entering particular sections of track if a collision could result. Maybe that was the case.

  7. Robin H Says:

    So what happened to the person she was supposed to pick up at the train station? Did she wait there for 3 days or find another way home?

  8. vanderleun Says:

    Either way it comes back to….. “Women drivers!”

  9. Lizzy Says:

    Talk about learned helplessness! There must have been a moment or two (!) where she saw a sign for an unfamiliar town name or noticed her trip mileage on the odometer was too high. You’d think she’d have a map or local area atlas in the car.
    Kinda reminds me of that CNET executive who drove down a logging road by mistake on Christmas eve and ended up stranding his family in the snowy woods. He went off for help (and perished), despite them being surrounded by trees from which branches could be removed & lit to create visible smoke for the search team.
    Will these devices – smart phones (w/apps and Siri), map websites & GPS – erase all common sense?

  10. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Moral of first story, be wary of GPS systems, especially if you are a women. It has been proven that woman have a poorer sense of direction than men. That’s why no real man will ever ask for directions; it’s virtually the equivalent of cross-dressing.

    A GPS story: while driving south to Cheyenne, WY from Scottsbluff, NE my GPS told me to turn right at an intersection were I knew I had to turn left. If I had obediently followed it I would have never reached my destination, although I could have possibly gotten to Edmonton, Alberta, a nice enough town so I hear. For some reason the GPS directions became reversed.

  11. Don Carlos Says:

    It is actually pretty hard to reach Cheyenne by driving south from Scottsbluff. Wyoming in its entirety is west of Nebraska. Glad you made it!

  12. Gringo Says:

    The 900 mile GPS-induced trip is one additional reason why I have no regrets about not having a GPS. A driver is better off with some sort of inner map.

    I have driven from TX to New England without using a road map, let alone a GPS.

  13. Occam's Beard Says:

    Gives the expression “woman driver” a whole new meaning

    I say nothing.

  14. Occam's Beard Says:

    I take it back; I will say something.

    The sexes seem to differ qualitatively in spatial skills. For example, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that women typically give directions in terms of landmarks and “left” and “right,” whereas men tend to give them in terms of cardinal directions.

    Driving my wife to the downtown area on the ring road in a strange city, with her on map duty, I was told to take an exit and “turn right.” As the surroundings became progressively more rural, I became increasingly dubious. Eventually, I pulled over next to a pasture with a grazing cow and asked for the map. She hadn’t realized that we had originally been proceeding south on the ring road (traversing it counterclockwise), and thus should have turned left, not right (I pointed out that the skyscrapers to the left were a tipoff as to where downtown might lie, which started the row).

    Women (or at least my better half) also tend to trust maps (and, it would appear, GPS units) inordinately, in my experience. My wife refused to believe we were on X street because the map said it didn’t extend north of (“up from” in her parlance) a highway. I pointed out (as gently as possible, having learned from the experience above) that street signs said we were on X street, and that the Pacific Ocean was on our left, and the sun’s transit, and the highway, were at our back, so we were proceeding north on X street, the map notwithstanding, unless someone moved the Pacific Ocean and the sun, and/or the highway. The resolution, of course, was that the street had been extended since the map was printed, a common occurrence in SoCal.

    She’s a sweetheart, but not the navigator of choice …

  15. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gender Bïgǒt Says:

    BWAAAAhahahhaaaaa…. I have you ALL beat!!

    Woman crashes car teaching dog to drive

  16. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Gender Bïgǒt Says:

    }}} The sexes seem to differ qualitatively in spatial skills.

    I think there are a lot of gender differences, some of them no doubt nurture but a lot of them nature.

    It only makes sense that man (as a GROUP, not as individuals) should have greater innate vision, spacial recognition, mapping, and hand-eye coordination over women. These are all senses/capacities relevant to HUNTING.

    The males who were better “brought home the bacon”, and their families and tribes thrived, while less-able ones did not.

    Women, on the other hand, seem to be far, far more attune to scent, as one point. And that makes sense, too — in days preceding modern medicine, the various smells of your baby — even flat out changes in them — would alert you to problems long before your baby had a boiling fever and was about to die. So women with a greater sense of smell thrived, and those who had poorer ones did not. The same would apply to realizing when food was “off”, in the days before modern preservation.

    I’m sure women who are intellectually honest can identify other things that women do better than men and which apply to child rearing and the basic pre-industrial role of women in human cultures.

    In no sense does this make men or women better as a whole, only better at specific tasks in general. Individuals can always break that mold.

  17. oldflyer Says:

    Smockpuppet, are you telling me that there are innate differences in men and women?

    Who knew?

    As the French would say “viva la …”

    A poll: My wife can seldom find anything. After she gives up, it often takes me less than two minutes. Usually, it involves looking behind, or under something. Sometimes just looking where you don’t expect it to be, after learning it isn’t where it belongs.

    Is that unique?

    A disclaimer; she has her talents in areas that I am not at all ept.

  18. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    }}} Artfldgr

    It is clear that you are an evil, evil man.


  19. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    }}} Who knew?

    Not a single, solitary postmodern feminist, near as I can tell. ;D

  20. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and Some Canadian Provinces Says:

    BTW, this also ties to a common critique of men “We never stop and ask for directions”.

    This actually has a purpose — number one, it hones your sense of location and direction. One reason men ARE better at self-orientation is that they “found it by themselves” for most of their lives, while women got instructions.

    Number two, it’s a matter of that “hunting senses” that I discussed earlier. In primitive times, anyone who “needed” assistance finding someplace was generally SOL… there was no one to ask for help from. So the ones who developed their talents without feeling a need to ask anyone for assistance survived better and prospered.

    Number three — Serendipity. There’s a lot more to be learned when you explore a bit as a result of this or that wrong turn. You find some really nice panoramic view. Or you encounter this great little restaurant in the ass end of nowhere. If all you do is get instructions and go straight there, you’re a geographic kind of dullard: “A dullard is the kind of person who goes to the encyclopedia, goes directly to the entry he was looking for, reads it, closes the book, and walks away.”

    Men are generally descended from the guys who didn’t feel a need to ask for directions.

  21. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    OB, your wife and mine must be related. I have lived my entire life navigating vehicles (cars, planes, trucks) and navigation is just a second nature to me. My poor wife can get lost anywhere. I bought her a GPS and she was so excited. Until she found out that the GPs didn’t always take her where she thought it would. Though she’s never followed it for very many miles out of her way. Anyway, she now doesn’t follow it blindly. She appreciates my navigating abilities. It’s nice to be appreciated for something you know how to do.

  22. parker Says:

    ” Wyoming in its entirety is west of Nebraska.” As far as Wyoming is concerned Nebraska is east of Wyoming and Mountain Time starts in the portion of Nebraska that should be a part of Wyoming. 😉

  23. Rich Says:

    How about this one ?


  24. Rich Says:

    … And that wasn’t the story I was looking for, so maybe it’s just as well that you probably can’t read it…my bad, sorry.

    The one I WAS looking for was about a woman whose rental car ran off the road and ended up in a pond. She’d been told to stay in the car if there was any problem, so that’s exactly what she did. For about a week.

    As I remember, the original story included a picture of a police officer standing by the stranded car. The water came up to his knees.


  25. expat Says:

    Boy, my husband and I are definitely outliers. I am the GPS for us on trips, and he follows my directions. I don’t claim any inborn sense of direction, but I do look at maps before we take off and pay attention to route numbers, street names, names of towns along the way, and other potential landmarks. My husband fills up the tank and loads luggage. It’s a perfect fit.

    I would probably get lost in the woods.

  26. Occam's Beard Says:

    I have to confess I love GPS, now that we have it. I don’t use it for gross directions (e.g., city to city) navigation, but love it for finding 1234 BackOfNowhere Lane in an unfamiliar area.

    Friends of ours used to live in a development where EVERY street name began with “Quail.” It was Quail Hollow, Quail View, Quail Crossing, Quail Valley, Quail Ridge, Quail Droppings, Quail in Terror, etc. and the streets were laid out on the pattern of the small intestine around a golf course (so sense of direction was useless). (Neo will probably related to this; the place reminded me a lot of Boston.) Last, best of all, it was new and didn’t appear on my map. I wished I’d had GPS when we visited them!

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Occam’s Beard: was there a Dan Quayle Corner?

  28. MissJean Says:

    What a great story about the Belgium woman! I’d love to know how much driving she’d done as opposed to taking public transportation. I think a lot depends on the type of road and distances one covers. Commuter/carpool lanes confuse me because Detroit doesn’t have them. I overshot Toronto once because I took a bypass lane instead of business loop, or some such thing during rush hour. Last year I cut through Atlanta pretty quick because I took the “shortcuts” illegally.

    On the flip side, my sis and one of my brothers never get lost because they drive everywhere, like Johnny Cash sang. Sis worked for a regional distributor with a big field assignment and Bro test-drove for GM while he finished his engineering degree.

    BTW I know several older women who drove primarily short distances (no more than 40 miles each way) and who preferred that their husbands drive long distances. Therefore, when their spouses died, they had the “adventure” of driving across the state for the first time. One of them became lost after dark, checked into a hotel, and the next day at breakfast met her future husband. So maybe it’s not all that bad, eh?

  29. MissJean Says:

    OC had me laughing with Quail in Terror Street, but that Quayle Corner is so funny! Here, they’d call it Whispering Quail Corner because all newer subdivisions had to have adjectives.

  30. Richard Aubrey Says:

    My wife and I use GPS to find locations where we haven’t been, and the directions thereto. It’s particularly useful passing through cities on expressways where you need to know where the interchange is, what lane, etc.
    It’s handy to know ETA, for example.
    Our Garmin can be set to give turn-by-turn directions, which is also handy. Earlier this week, we were in a medium sized town and Garmin told us to do a particular thing, which we had not done before, and it turned out to be much better. We had just gotten an update.
    Two problems: If you want an alternate route for some reason, you need a map. GPS will only take you from where you are to where you want to go most directly. You can’t mapquest, entering a different starting point.
    The other is a bias toward the expressway. You’ll go out of your way to get a couple of useless miles on the limited access road.

    In the old days, of adventure novels, of difficulties, of private eye novels, there was never a problem lighting a fire. Everybody smoked, so everybody had matches or a cigarette lighter. Today, an author putting a source of ignition into the story would have to elaborate on it. Guy’s a survivalist. Carries a steel match because he’s always prepared. Just happened to be going to a picnic and had the charcoal and matches with him. I once tried lighting a piece of newspaper soaked with charcoal lighter fluid from the car’s cigarette lighter. Didn’t work.

  31. kcom Says:

    My grandmother set out on the five mile trip to my grandfather’s grave one day. It’s straight up the road along the river and then left on a side street for a couple of hundred yards. She finally came to a stop when something mechanical happened to her car. That was about 110 miles up that same road, which curved all the way around the “thumb” of Michigan. Once she missed the left, she just kept driving and looking. Of course, she had incipient Alzheimer’s and that was her last car journey. And she was 89.

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