It occurred to me today, while driving of course, that I’ve done a disservice to fellow blogger, nay friend, Oh God My Wife Is German*. You see he just moved to Germany, from Seattle I think, to join his wife. If not Seattle then from the U.S. anyway and I, having lived here for the past five years should have offered him some driving advice.
I’m sorry OGMWIG, truly sorry. I hope this makes up for it.
So as a public service announcement to anyone reading this that might find themselves driving someday in Germany and to OGMWIG I offer the following tips for driving in Germany.
Always, always collect photos of funny words on license plates. In the European Union, well in the German part of the EU at least, license plates always consist of three or four letters followed by three or four numbers. The numbers are rarely funny.
But the letters, they occasionally lead to hilarity.
You’ll find a good number of ‘ass’ ones and the occasional ‘fuk’ or ‘fuc’ and I always laugh at the ones that say ‘shit’ because really how funny is that?
But the winner goes to a good friend and co-worker.
He found the “klit” and to steal his own joke.
“I found it .. I found the Klit!”
Never pass on the right.
Seriously, the Germans while otherwise an understanding and caring society lose their shit over this. I used to do it, no more. Really if it means I need to go 5 KPH in the right lane so that I don’t pass the retard doing 6 KPM to my left, I’m a driving 5 KPH.
I could tell my German neighbors that I am only sexually aroused by male puppies that have been ritually shaved by midgets that are then lit on fire… they would respond with kindness, understanding and tolerance (seems something bad happened here back in the 30s and 40s, I don’t know) but should I confess to a right-lane pass of a vehicle, BAMO – I’d be beaten with sticks in the road and kicked.
So don’t pass on the right.
If there is room enough, literally room enough, for your car to merge in front of another then merge away.
You’re going to have to develop some seriously attuned spatial-reasoning skills because Germans can park, merge or otherwise cram their cars into spaces the size of shoeboxes. Which fits the National stereotype nicely I think but still baffles the American psyche sometimes.
We’re Americans after all. We’re used eight ‘god blessed and usually backed up’ lanes of super highway outside of Los Angles for the love of god. Our parking spaces would be cattle grazing fields here. In American when I merged I demanded, DEMANED WITH CAPITAL LETTERS, two football (American football at that) fields in front of me and one behind me. Further I expected the national anthem to play when I put on my turn signal on four miles back and usually anticipated that angels would sing too me as I slowly, ever so slowly, drifted into the other lane.
Here it’s all
“Can I make it?”
Countless times on the Autobahn I’ve been driving a safe and sane 250 KPH approaching a semi on the right lane with a four-cylinder plastic car behind it.
Now that driver has to calculate, as I head toward him at speeds far exceeding my IQ, how long I will have to stop, can he jump into the left lane fast enough to give me enough warning and am I currently writing this blog on my phone while driving?
The fuckers always always do it. One minute you’re rocking out to Lionel Richie’s ‘All night long’ and the next minute everything from the backseat is hitting you in the back of the head, the breaks are on fire and you’ve, again, pooped yourself.
The Germans are better drivers than Americans are.
By and large they are. Get over it. It takes like 20 years and costs the national debt of Greece to get a license here. Also if you really want to have fun over beers some night ask an older German how Greece is doing.
Never mind, don’t do that.
Point is that, by and large, they are better drivers than we are because we learned from our dads and they learned from someone with a PHD in driving.
My dad: “Son when someone’s riding your ass your best bet is to slam on your brakes and teach them people a lesson!”**
German PHD driving instructor: “Ven das car behind you ist too close you must maintain ze current speed und no vary your velocity!”
There are tons, tons and tons of antidotal stories I’ve heard about Germans being fucked-up drivers, most of them I can fully believe. Can I believe a friend saw a German dusting the dashboard of his new car with an unused paint brush at 120 KPH?
You bet I can.
I think I can prove they’re better drivers, apart from the no-speed limit autobahn thing.
Let’s play ‘let’s pretend’ for a moment. Let’s pretend the governors of California, Oregon and Washington State decided collectively that not only was a speed limit unnecessary on parts of I95 but that it should be declared an honest to shit race track.
What would be the result?
If your answer to that hypothetical was, ‘the 82nd Airborne division’ and ‘a state of national emergency,’ you and I agree.
But the Germans, those whacky Germans, they gave us nurburgring and the less famous hockenheimring, stretches of actual road that I’m led to believe are used by normal 9 to 5 commuters and people that want to drive their cars to level 11.
Grandma taking the grandkids to a kid movie and a new Porsche owner really working the gears, on the same road … the mind melts.
You can pee anywhere you like. Well almost anywhere.
All those little parking areas along the autobahn, you know the ones. The ones with the picnic tables no one seems to use that are always populated by trucks with truckers sleeping in them.
They’re basically open air urinals.
Weird I know.
You never see whole families at these places, using the bathroom or even using the picnic tables (because they smell like pee). You just see truckers sleeping and men in suits peeing …
And I saved the best for last man.
You can drive naked. You and the wife can tool around the German countryside naked as they day you were both born. I look forward to the stories.
Seriously I heard it from a German friend so it must be true. Seems a German man during the one hot day a year in Germany decided that air conditioning was for suckers and that he’d be cooler (metaphorically and physically maybe) driving naked. It was a great plan until the popo pulled him over and gave him a ticket for, wait for it, driving naked.
Later though, to the judge, he argued that he had every right to be naked inside of his own property (like his house) and that his car was in fact his own property so what was the problem?
The judge let him off. So go ahead and drive around naked, I’m 100 …. Well … 90 … well 60 percent … okay check with an attorney first on that one.
* Read this blog. It’s about an American that married a German and moved here, HILARITY. Oh God My Wife I German is too funny, if you don’t read it I hate you, a lot with like extra hate.
** My dad was actually a driving teacher so that never happened. His actual advice at the time would have been more akin to “Son we aren’t getting home until you get this car going off this hill in first gear.” It took three weeks.