Monday, July 1, 2013

"Please turn right at the next intersection..."

... says the voice in my right ear and then the drill starts again.  Look in the right rear view mirror... look over the right shoulder, and if it's clear turn on the right turn signal...  move slowly to the right hand section of the lane... making sure to brake with both front and rear brakes.  Thus goes the road test for my German driver's license (Führerschine) on a gray Wednesday morning last week.

Little Orange Cone Demo Team
Before being allowed out on the road by the Führerschine Meister from TÜV I had to run the little orange cone gauntlet.  Circumnavigate a circle painted on the ground three times and make sure you go fast enough to initiate some amount of lean on the bike (don't go more than three revolutions - you will get dizzy and fall down), then wiggle through a bunch of little orange cones that are real close together at idle speed, next run a slalom through some more little orange cones that are further apart, but make sure you're going at least 40 K per hour, and then finally three different emergency braking & obstacle avoidance tests.  If you hit a little orange cone on any of the tests you are toast.

So I watched how the youngsters did it and I managed to pass the first part.

Then, once it was determined I could go off to the strasse for Part Two -- the road test -- more fun.  I wound through a few villages, over country roads, through larger towns and then the Pièce de résistance -- the Autobohn --  all-the-while following the instructions from the voice I was hearing in my right ear.

I guess I didn't do anything stupid because at the end of the road test I got a thumbs up from the Führerschine Meister, along with a piece of paper that would prove to be my passport to legal driving in Germany -- that is once I made it over to the Führerschinestelle to pick up my drivers license.

Blacks out to protect the innocent
So, once again, I am a legal menace to the public roads both in a car and on a motorcycle, but this time in a foreign country.


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