Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Tomorrow I'm going to see Le Petit Prince in theatre!  Pretty excited about that.

The song of the day is Hey You, by Pink Floyd, because it's an awesome song.  I've never been a huge Pink Floyd fan, but this song is one of my favorites.

The German topic of the day is the Autobahn.  Everyone's heard of the autobahn, and we all associate it with Germany, so I think it's worth talking about.

First off, there's not just one Autobahn, contrary to what some people might believe.  Saying "autobahn" in Germany is like saying highway- it literally means "motorway".  And not all of the autobahns are speed-limit free- many of them, or parts of them, are sub-100 km zones.

While I've been told that there are larger ones, the autobahns that I have been on so far are actually smaller than most highways in the US- usually they're two lanes in each direction, divided by a barrier.  The lanes are narrower, too, which is sometimes a little nerve-racking.

Driving is much, much more active here.  In the US, you get on the highway and might stay in your lane for 200 miles before you need to do anything.  Here, driving always has a direction- it might sound strange to say it, but driving in the US almost has no relative direction- of course, the car is moving in a direction, but in comparison to the other cars your car is essentially still.  In Germany, every car is a different speed.

The left lane is explicitly for passing, and that rule is followed exactly.  When you wish to pass somebody, your path looks like a C- you merge left, move forward, merge right.  When you wish to pass several cars that aren't all bumper to bumper, you merge left, pass, and merge right for every car, making a nice half-helix trail.  I think it's more common to simply switch lanes in the US than to actually pass and then move back.

Again contrary to popular belief, not everybody goes very very fast on the autobahn.  120 kmh- a little more than 70 mph- is probably about average, with many people going 100 - 140. That's not to say people don't go fast, though- I recently rode to Gromitz with Bruna's mother, and we probably hit 165 (103 mph).  Even at that speed, there were a few cars that veritably zoomed past, completely disappearing out of sight in seconds.  They must have been going at least 220, I reckon.

Anke drives a big blue Opel Vivaro.  I think it would be pretty funny seeing that car going 220, but I don't think Anke would be willing to see.

1 comment:

  1. Salut Emmanuel!
    Vous nous manquez enormement dans la classe de francais! J'adore lire vos messages toutes les semaines. Les eleves dans toutes les classes apprennent beaucoup au sujet de votre sejour en allemand. Josephine nous aide a prononcer les mots en allemand. C'est super!Tout le monde s'interresse a ce qui se passe chez vous!
    Quand j'ai vu votre citrouille extraordinaire, je l'a montree a mon mari Paul. (L'Halloween est sa fete favorite)Il a essaye de recreer votre citrouille et a ce moment elle est allumee devant la maison. Moi, Je pensais qu'il y avait une petite a l'interieur d'une grande, mais Paul pensait que c'etait seulement une citrouille.
    Je suis si contente que vous recommenciez vos etudes de francais et aussi que vous puissiez impressioner votre prof avec le subjonctif!C'est aussi formidable que vous alliez voir Le Petit Prince au theatre.
    Les photos sont extraordinaires et il est si bon de rester en contact avec vous. Merci aussi pour la carte postale. J'attends avec impatience a lire toutes vos aventures.

    Je vous embrasse,