Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nailed it!

So another milestone has been reached this week in Germany. I am pleased to say that I am now a licensed driver! After my vacation I began behind the wheel lessons. The first lesson was definitely shocking-I didn’t crash or anything, but for the first time to be in road traffic behind the wheel was a bit jarring. A chance to apply all the facts I learned over the last six months, and let me tell you, checking boxes on a computer screen is a lot easier. I had to get used to all the other traffic around me (cyclists, scooter drivers, buses, dog walkers, old couples with bags from the bakery and the occasional pack of children). I also had to keep an eye out for signage, monitor my speed limit and make sure to check over my shoulder before every maneuver. 

After a few lessons everything became more comfortable, and on Friday halfway through the exam I realized that nothing had gone wrong (OK, perhaps it took me an extra few seconds to decelerate to 50 kmh after driving on a ‘fast street,’ into a village-but I totally noticed it and slowed down without having to be told). The tester (a third party examiner and the driving instructor are in the car for the practical exam) was very pleasant and she pretty much talked to my instructor the whole time so I just had to play chauffeur and not hurt anyone. Mission accomplished! Not looking to get a car any time soon, but there is a car sharing program here that could be quite nice for once in a while drives.  

The semester is in full swing. I’ve had two weeks now at the new gig and everything is great. Next week is a holiday here, so that’ll be enjoyable. The weather has suddenly turned downright wintery. It’s been quite mild and fall-like this month, but within the last few days the night temperature has dropped below zero and during the day it’s under 10. And as of this morning, we've changed our clocks back an hour, so it's going into, 'the dark season.' I don't mind though.

And what would an end of October post be without some pictures of trees with fall colors?