I can no longer drive in Germany. For at least a month. See, I finally bit the bullet and applied for a German license. It’s a rather involved process that ended with this prissy unfriendly girl taking my beloved California license. Beloved because it had a great picture and a listed weight of 150 pounds. It was in fact the license I had in college. Sniff sniff.
Last week I took my Erste Hilfe class. The class was taught in Deutsch. I was really impressed with my ability to understand the instructor. It only took me three hours and a very nice man from Ghana before I understood that Sauerstoff was in fact oxygen and not vomit. An important yet easily misunderstood concept when dealing with first aid.
I can apply a compress bandage, lift a man out of a car, position an unconscious person in such a way as to keep the airway open (this is where the misunderstanding occurred), and practice re-animation. Yep, if you’re dead, I can bring you back. Put me up there with Count Frankenstein. Americans call it CPR, but give the Krauts some credit. Re-animation sounds so cool, I might just hang around old people just to give it a whirl.
I have practice with the compress bandages. As a kid I wanted a broken leg so I could have a cast. Casts were awesome. Unfortunately, my attempts to break my legs by jumping off the roof were thwarted when my dad came home early one night. His car turned the corner on my tenth jump. The only thing damaged was my ass after the beating I got for scaring the poop out of him.
I blame my failure on the copious amounts of milk my parents poured down my throat, the fascists.
They got me a medical kit soon after, complete with ACE bandages and crutches. I spent HOURS wrapping and re-wrapping body parts. So if you’re bleeding profusely, I’m your man.
With that course complete, my eye test taken, picture procured and fahrschule found, I’m set to learn how to drive… after driving for more than 18 years, three of which have been in Germany.
The fahrschule instructor asked me if there was anything he should know about me. I told him I liked pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. He looked at me, straight german faced, for the longest 15 seconds of my life as he processed what I said. I swear, the room was so quiet I could hear a cat bell in the distance.
“Oh, like the song. Ha ha. No, I mean do you have fear?” he said so completely deadpanned I thought him a comic genius until I realized it wasn’t comedy.
So many responses, so little time. These lessons are going to be fun!