A worried wife calls her husband who is driving home, to warn him about a news report of a lunatic driving on the wrong side of the road. “A lunatic??!?!?!!” He says “There are bloody hundreds of ’em”
One of the problems with coming from England is that we drive on the left, in right hand drive cars. Generally this isn’t an issue, but can cause problems from time to time.
I was in the car with my Dad many years ago, when I asked him if it had been difficult to get used to driving on the right. He was in the process of explaining about how it becomes normal pretty quickly and that you get used to it etc, when we realised that Dad had pulled across a junction onto the left hand side of a dual carriageway. A quick change of underwear later and we are back on the correct side of the road. At the time, we had been in Germany around 3 years, so this sort of thing shouldn’t happen.
Similar things have happened to me recently. Especially when borrowing my friends English spec car (right hand drive) and driving around Frankfurt. Now that I can almost understand, however I have noticed and irresistable urge to do the same thing when driving large rental vans.
Maybe it is ingrained in the British psychy. Like having vinegar with Fish and Chips, mint sauce with lamb, drinking tea, being bad at sports we helped invent, personal space and queueing. Germans have absolutely no concept of personal space and think nothing of getting uncomfortably close to you when it is completely unnecessary. Case in point is public transport over here. If you are sat down on a train that has hundreds of empty seats, you still get people that will get on and sit next to you. Same with queueing…now I know that this can be considered a British pastime, but if you leave more than 5 centimeters gap between you and the person in front of you, a German will get straight in there. You certainly couldn’t pull the “Queue Gag” that we used to do in the UK.
Get 2 or 3 of your friends and walk up to a featureless wall and form a small queue. After a while, start looking around and at your watch like something is due to happen or that something is late. After a while, members of the general public will queue behind you. When the queue is at a decent size, walk away and don’t look back. If you circle around, you will normally see that the queue stays there for quite a while. I know that this could be construed as an Urban Myth about Brits…but I have done it…..more than once. The current record we have is 14 people joining the queue and the queue stayed in place for 15 minutes after we left. If you are in the UK, try it – It’s so much more satisfying than the old look up in the sky gag.
So, whilst I can’t do that in Germany, I have to appease myself with mocking Germans general destruction of the English language. Don’t get me wrong, my understanding of the German language is bordering on homicidal – But that shouldn’t stop me from having fun at their expense….not on my blog anyway.
Things I have heard today:
I have been here since four years.
We need to change the enWIREment settings
We have too many furnitures here
It can be happen that ……
I had wisitors for the veekend
The system is going life next week
It is paining me
I can borrow to you that
Now I have to go an make sure that I never attempt to speak German in public….or?