Were you to ask Jeremy Clarkson what first enters his testosterone-filled head when he thinks of Germany, he would no doubt wax lyrical about the Autobahns (if he restrained himself from mentioning the war).
Frequently utilized to demonstrate the prowess of various phallus substitutes, the laxity of German motorways is, in fact, misunderstood. Whilst there are sections signposted as unrestricted, should you have an accident whilst pushing your Porsche through the sound barrier and live to tell the tale, you may wish you hadn't.
Despite the de-restriction, the recommended limit remains 120 km/hr. If the Polizei can prove you were driving without thought for others (what else at 250 km/hr?) you will be prosecuted.
Hefty fines or even custodial sentences are not unusual. So the Autobahn is not quite the vehicular paradise it is made out to be.
Germans are aggressive drivers in general. I've been driving for over 20 years and I'm generally relaxed about it. I do however get a little riled with idiots who put my life and the lives of others in danger. Occasionally, I have been known to morph into a ranting, cursing she-devil. Mostly they don't hear or understand my abusive English curses. Annoyingly, it is against the law to give the one-finger-salute here so the whole experience can be rather frustrating.
Of course when Finje is in the car I battle against the rage. The stress of this can bring on a dizzy spell, but god forbid she should pick up such language from me! Had you asked, I would have sworn on my life that I had always managed to hold my tongue in her presence. Apparently not so.
Enjoying the warmth of some late winter sunshine, we were sitting outside our favourite cafe last week enjoying an ice cream. I heard the car before I saw it. Pimped to within an inch of its pathetic life and literally vibrating from effects of the speakers, I think it had originally started life as a Vauxhall Astra. I swear the poor car looked quite ashamed of itself as it shot straight over the zebra crossing, a streak of orange paint, go faster stripes, lowered suspension and spoilers.
"Zu bloody fast you stupid chicken. You cretin, dummkopf person without a willy!"
Despite getting the sex of the poultry wrong, I think she did quite well.
The man on the next table almost choked on his chocolate chip.