Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I can now have some Fahrvergnügen - (Germany) Day 16

Woke up at 0700 again this morning and readied myself for the day. Lately I have no idea when I'll be picked up, so I just try and be ready by 0800 and see what happens. This morning was not much different. I was ready and then my wife and I watched another episode of Sons of Anarchy…a great way to start the day. Then I skimmed through the study guide for the drivers test. I received a call about 0900 and was told a girl from my office would be picking me up. This is one of the girls we met on New Years Eve, so at least I have met her before.

We headed to CIF and picked up all my issues gear. It was a pretty simple process since I already have a number of items that were shipped with my stuff from Korea, they only issued me some basic items such as a ruck sack, some wet weather gear, a sleeping mat and of course my body armor. We put all the stuff in the van and brought it back to my house. The girl from my office ran some errands before coming back and picking up my wife and I to take us back to Central Processing. Central Processing is also the same place that has the PX and other shops, since my wife was getting cabin fever the girl in our office invited her to come along. I had to take my test to drive a POV (Privately Owned Vehicle) in Germany.

We all ate lunch together and then I headed to take my test and my wife checked out the various shopping venues. I thought I was going to just take a test, but it turned out to be a little instruction via a movie, then some PowerPoint slides before the test. I am not complaining because I kept hearing about people that failed the test multiple times before passing, so I wanted all the extra instruction as possible. Some German driving laws are a bit different than in the US:

You can get fined if you leave your car parked and unsecured. So for instance you leave your car unlocked and have some valuables in it and they get stolen…not only are you losing the valuables, but if you report it, you can get a fine for not securing your car.

All drivers must carry a reflective triangle and a first aid kit under the passenger seat or in the glove compartment. If you get caught without these you can get fined.

Do not run out of gas on the autobahn…if you get caught…you will get fined.

The German police can use physical force to test you for drugs or alcohol if needed.

There are a lot more, but I don't have all night to write them all out…LOL. Basically a lot of the laws and general rules are similar. You have to focus on the various road signs and the "right of way" because it's a little different. That makes up the majority of the test, which I passed with flying colors…only missing 3. The entire process took about 3 hours

The surprise came when I went to get my license in the next room over…I had to wear my glasses in order to read the chart. My eyesight is going downhill.

I met up with my wife and the girl from my office and she brought us back home. We ended up walking to the commissary and then eating dinner before watching a few shows. Not sure what tomorrow has in store for me as I've now finished everything except for the rescheduled briefings in central processing.

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