It sounds like Larry Correia had a blast on his European tour:
Of all the languages, German was by far the easiest to pick up words and phrases for me. Despite being related to Portuguese and Spanish, French sounds totally eluded me. And Czech is HARD (they have like 46 ways to make conjunctions). But German shares a lot of word roots with English, and the actual structure is pretty straight forward. Plus it is fun to just walk around and make up vaguely German sounding names for things, like a pigeon is Das Poopinbirden.
The next day we drove across all of Germany to the Czech Republic, and I got to experience the autobahn, which my whole life has been this sort of mythical place that has no speed limits, and is filled with drivers that understand slow traffic stays right, and where they never camp in the left lane, and in fact, if you’re blocking the left lane, they’ll come right up on your bumper at 100 miles an hour, honking, and flashing their lights. It was a place devoid of mercy, unforgiving of weakness. So we set out.
Apparently there are two kinds of tourist drivers on the autobahn. Those who are weak, fearful, whose crying pillows smell of lilacs and shame, who stay in the truck lane, or who wander out into the left occasionally, timidly, to be honked at and chased aside by awesome Teutonic Super Drivers…
And the other kind is the American who manages to average 180km an hour across all of Germany in a Volvo diesel station wagon.
It was AMAZING. I felt like a race car driver across an entire country. You know why German cars don’t have cup holders? Because if you stop to drink while driving, YOU WILL DIE. And you should. You need to be on. I’d get a gap, jump out to the left, floor it (because fuel economy is for hippies I’m on the mother f’ing autobahn!), and nobody pulls out in front of me in a minivan to enforce their personal speed limit, people ahead of me going slower (like 100mph) immediately get out of the way, and when some bad ass comes up behind me in a super car, I get out of his way, and then they blast past me like I’m standing still.
It was beautiful.
You wouldn’t think a diesel Volvo would be comfy at 112 miles an hour, but it really is. Yes. I friggin’ love the autobahn. If I lived here I would buy a giant BMW or Audi and drive very fast, all the time. Why can’t we have something like this here? I would like to institute autobahn style rules on I-15 in Utah. Sure, a few thousand people would probably die in the first weekend, but after that it would be awesome.
Can confirm. What some might find interesting is that Italy has its own sort of temporary autobahn, which is certain stretches of the autostrada on Sunday mornings from 9-11 AM. Spacebunny and I were driving home from Verona one morning, doing about 100 MPH or so, when I saw a red car coming up VERY FAST from behind.
It turned out to be a Ferrari 456. A few moments later, a tricked-out blue Porsche with a vague resemblance to a 911 flew past as well. My Call of Duty mate, who used to race Formula 2, has friends who drive for Ferrari, and drives an Aston Martin, later told me that there are certain sections of the autostrada that are intentionally left camera-free so that the men with the supercars can let them rip at times when the traffic is light.
European pro tip: if you see silver in the distance behind you, move over without delay. No one in Europe drives faster, or is more likely to ride your bumper, than drivers of silver Mercedes station wagons. My theory is that if you need a station wagon, but insist on spending the money for a high-performance engine, you’re probably a roadway lunatic. I see plenty of nice, big-engined sports cars and sedans cruising along the autostrada at reasonable speeds, but every single Mercedes station wagon driver is flying along at least 20 MPH faster than the flow of traffic, no matter how fast it is, with his left blinker permanently on.
And for some reason that still eludes me, they are always silver.
Larry is right about German being easier for English speakers too. As for French, I honestly found it easier to pick up Japanese. The Italians may speak rapidly and use the same word to describe three completely different concepts, (hence the need for all the gestures) but at least they enunciate.