One of the benefits of driving a thirty year old VW bus is that you get to enjoy life at a sedate pace. Cruising the autobahns is a relaxing affair when even the slowest Russian semi-trailer is overtaking you on an uphill slope. You just sit back and enjoy the ride, able to fully appreciate the aesthetics of road kill as you putt by.
But the draw back is that you ain't getting nowhere in a hurry.
Sunday we decided to do some high speed tourism through the former East, cramming as much as we could in a day limited by the number of hours we could leave the dog at home without a pee break. So we hired a Mercedes.
DrH was in his element, out in the fast lane with the Beamers and Audis at 180 km/hr (111 miles/hr according to my trusty online converter for all you non-metric folk out there). It was hard to get him to give up the steering wheel, although he did complain that it didn't have enough style or uniqueness. there are a lot of black merc's on the road out there, and we're pretty used to being looked at a lot in our ancient car. Undeserved attention is a hard drug to give up, just ask Britney Spears.
My favourite part however was the navigation system, something we've never used before. Now I'm not talking about using it to get around the place because it was, frankly, useless. Completely unaware of new autobahns, one way streets or pedestrian areas. We found ourselves listening to her rather than using our own eyes to read the GIANT signs above the highways. And you can't tell me that a navi could show you all the irratic boulders, Dalai Lama planted pine trees and poets birthplaces that our fantastic 1:30000 map of Estonia does. No, a navi makes life dull and uneventful, making us turn off even more of our underused brains.
So it wasn't it's navigational skill that I admired, rather the sexy, slightly British-accented voice which instructed us to get back onto pavement although we were clearly tearing down an autobahn. To my great surprise I found I could exactly imitate it and several times had SuperCoolMatti jumping in shock at unusual commands delieverd in a calm and sultry voice. Which made me realise just how much is lacking in the vocabulary of this instrument. "Turn right, now" would be so much more impressive if it was actually "Where the bloody hell do you think you're going? You call that driving? You better chuck a U-ey and go back now cause you missed the turnoff. Dickhead."