I had finally made it! After the third attempt. I was staring at my driver’s license, totally proud. I could not drive with the music at the beginning. The radio had to stay turned off. -Hands totally sweaty after every ride. The roundabouts were always an issue, how to keep on the lane… Every drive was an adventure itself.
It was a great, sunny day again in the heart of Berlin. Slowly but surely I was getting better when driving. I had turned on the radio that day, very quiet. I did not want to be distracted by the music, I had to watch every move, and change gears all the time. I hated it when the car was off right in the middle of the crossing, the cars behind me honking, it was unfair, but I had to stay calm. So I was told during the driving lessons. And when I did not know what to do, my teacher told me to stop and not to do anything rather than do something that could cause an accident.
My nightmares were parking. It always took me forever to get the car parked. A good five minutes were needed at times and sometimes those five minutes felt like five hours. I was exhausted after every single act of parking.
I once had parked the car so close to a Porsche that it was impossible for me to get out of the parking lot without scratching the Porsche next to me. I felt so helpless, after thinking up and down, I called the police and told them I simply can’t park out of the lot.
They laughed, but really came and parked out my car. I thought it was very kind of German police.
So in the first days and months, driving was not really time saving for me. In fact, there were loads of sweat and adrenalin involved from A to B. almost every distance I drove was taking a lot of effort.
And? You might ask. Have you had an accident? Oh yes, I did. And the very first accident was perfect. With the best counterpart you might ever pick:
I was looking for a parking place again, desperate. I was hungry; I had to go to the bathroom and I was thirsty, too.
Telling myself: “I don’t have to go to the bathroom, and I am NOT hungry at all, and NO, I would not pill or kill for a drop of water. No, no, no. Dear God, please give me a parking place where I can get in immediately, please, please, please… “
I was looking right and left at the same time. Oh no! BANGGGGG! Crashhhhhh!
When I looked straight, it was too late, although I applied the breaks as hard as I could; I was into the car in front of me: I looked and looked again: Oh no, it was a police car!
I got out of my car immediately, my old car’s face was totally damaged.
Their car rear bumper looked OK. However the only thing I could say was “I am so terribly sorry. I am so terribly sorry. I am so terribly sorry. Really truly sorry!”
They saw how embarrassing it was for me and that I was so afraid. I was simply shaking in my shoes. They asked me my papers and told me, as they were involved in the accident we had to call another police car. Until the police car who was allowed to record the accident came I felt like billions of years passed by and I simply was speechless, totally at my ends.
After all the record-taking was done, I was just told to inform my insurance within 3 working days and that I would not hear anything from them again. I could not believe it.
My license was only a month old and I thought it would have terrible consequences for me. However, after checking the post almost 120 days with sweating hands, I realized they meant what they said. I had never heard anything about this accident ever again. No fine, no letter. No bad news.
I was happy. We say in English: no news is good news. So it was though!
Text: Eveline Goodman.
„Eveline Goodman ist Geschäftsführerin von EforP – English for Professionals, einem Sprachinstitut, das sich auf maßgeschneiderte Trainings – auf „Integrated Trainings“ sowie auf Sprachtrainings – für Unternehmer und deren Mitarbeiter spezialisiert hat.