I am giving serious thought to jumping far out of my own skin as I take some time away from the daily grind … and, yes, even old guys like me have “daily grinds” from which they need relief.
A plane ride to Germany awaits. I am accepting an invitation from a good friend who offered me a place to stay “for as long as you want.” He heard the news about my beloved bride’s passing and offered me a place to stay “across the Atlantic.” I accepted his offer, but I will be there for a finite period of time.
But … while I am visiting him in Bavaria, I am going to — gulp! — rent a car to drive while he and his wife are working. This is a big deal for yours truly.
I have traveled a bit overseas. I have been to several countries in Europe and in Asia; I went to Mexico City once to attend an editorial writers conference. At no time have I rented a motor vehicle. I dared not try negotiating the streets of Athens, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Taipei or Delhi … you name it.
This time it’s different. My friends are young enough to continue working full time.
What gives me the nervous jerks, though, is driving in a nation with no known limits on speed. Yep, you can drive as fast as you want on the autobahn. Those who know me best know that I don’t handle speed all that well. They know that I inherited my dear ol’ Dad’s driving habit of poking along. I don’t obstruct traffic, but if the speed limit is posted for 75 mph, I am likely to drive 60 or 65 mph. Why? Well, I just don’t like having my hair flying back while driving a motor vehicle.
I’ll be in Germany for just short of two weeks. I’ll be able to drive locally, take in the sights and visit some of the picturesque communities near where my friends live.
I think I’ll seek the back roads, however. I don’t need to bring gratuitous horror to my overseas driving experience by venturing onto the autobahn where I have heard it’s every man for himself.