This year I finally broke down and got a driver’s License here in Germany. I was lucky. The state I am from in the US has a reciprocal agreement with Germany, meaning my license there is accepted as an equivalent license here and I did not have to go through the driver’s school or the test. The bad thing about this is I have not had any practice driving on German roads. I am not familiar with their rod signs, and to be quite honest, I’m scared shi*tless to drive here.
When I got my license, I told my husband, who has taken the driving school here and just needs to take his final test, that I wanted to go driving with him (meaning he’s driving and I’m watching) a few times before I get behind the wheel. He agreed that would be a good idea. He could explain the rules of the road while showing me how to navigate the traffic here. Then we get to last week.
My husband is a huge . . . HUGE, F1 racing fan. He wanted to go to Monaco this year for the race but the plans didn’t work out so we are going to the race in Hockenheimring, Germany. This is a three hour car drive from where we live. The train would take much longer. The race is late in the day and my husband has to work early on Monday. So he came up with the idea that we would rent a car and I would drive the three hour drive with him and our dog (who gets car sick) for this trip for my first time behind a wheel here in Germany. I have been stressing hard since this revelation.
Now here is the really troublesome part. With my neurological conditions, stress can cause very adverse reactions in my body, usually migraines. We have been trying to get registered with one of those car sharing sites where you log into an app, find a car on the street with the program, log in that you want to drive it and off you go. We had planned to go out driving this weekend and next so I would have at least a little practice. But we have yet to successfully get registered with a site. Every one seems to want tons of information, scanned documents, blood type, the promise of a first born or at least a kidney.
I know this fear is, for the most part, irrational. I have driven motorcycles since I was 6, tractors since I was 12, and I got my learners permit at 14 and have never stopped driving until we moved to Europe. I try to keep reminding myself that I know what I am doing. But the butterflies in my stomach seem to have not gotten the memo yet.