Thursday, March 16, 2006

Driving me crazy

Yesterday I had the joy of returning to teenager-hood as I took my driving theory test here in Germany. The rules are different for everyone but with my Australian licence (thirteen years of unblemished driving) I need to take the theory and practical tests and the first aid course.

And so it was I found myself cramming all kinds of important information into my head – particularly that vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes can freely choose their lane on a dual carriageway, but only vehicles up to 2.8 tonnes can park on the footpath. I cowardly chose to take the test in English, but then some questions seemed to lose something in the translation. Take this question on what presents a danger on the roads: worn tyres, vehicles in a spectacular colour, or headlights set too high? Apparently the spectacular colour (what colour is that, exactly?) is not a problem, only the tyres and headlights are. I also sometimes stumbled over seasonal questions (autumn in Australia never seemed to produce any particular driving hazards, yet several questions brought up this topic here), but when it came to all the questions about deer running across the road, I just substituted the idea of a kangaroo and my answers came out OK.

At TÜV yesterday I lined up with the eighteen-year-olds and a handful of mixed foreigners to attempt the theory test (German speakers, try it online here – bet you can’t pass it!). Thankfully, I made it through this first stage (or I probably wouldn’t be writing about it here) – but stay tuned for the fun and games I anticipate the practical test will provide!

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