A German Ride


What I thought would be my last sight in life.

There is little in life better than a week in Italy.

But if there’s one last thing to do before you die, spending a week in Italy is definitely a way to go out.

Let me try to explain.

Europe is all about public transportation. Hot stuffy buses or slow stuffy trains are what defines transportation. I miss my car, and I miss driving.

When I flew back from Italy last night, there were two choices for getting my friends and I back into Marburg. We could either take a train the entire way there, or we could use the online carpool system which allows random strangers to give random strangers rides for a low cost.

Of course we chose the latter. Who doesn’t want the adventure of a late night excursion through Germany with random strangers?

I just wanted a ride back to Marburg. I was tired and had lots of packing to do. And I got my wish. I got a ride.

It was a ride indeed from the Cologne airport.

Two random girls from the online carpooling site had agreed to pick us up from the Cologne airport and drive us to the Frankfurt train station. The carpooling would only cost 30 euros for all three of us as opposed to the 44 euros for just one train ticket.

The ride was exhilarating.

I sat behind the driver and just concentrated on how life had been good to me do far. I thought of all the happy moments during my past three weeks of vacation. I thought about the fun times I had enjoyed with my friends. I even thought about work, and floated the idea that I should make a list of things my boss should do if I did not survive the ride.

The speedometer read an impressive 175 kph (110 mph). I have no intentions of being stereotypical here; I’m just going to relay the thoughts that bounced in my head. I say “impressive” because a girl was driving. I say “bounced” because every lane change or braking resulted in frightening G-forces.

Every curve in the road, every car we passed on the road was an adrenaline shot. I didn’t know if the car would suddenly brake or swerve. So it was always a surprise that kept me from sleeping or getting bored. If I closed my eyes, it was almost like a roller-coaster ride, except I didn’t have a 5-point harness.

I definitely did not consider the nonessential fact that visibility was practically nonexistent due to the pouring rain. I did not think about how traction might not work at 110 mph on a wet surface. I also did not contemplate the additional fact that both girls had just come from a concert. I just knew that no alcohol had been imbibed and that no illegal substances were in their blood streams.

I knew if I lived through the ride, I was destined for great things in life. I definitely did not have enough Karma credit to escape death, so I figured if I made it out alive, I was a lucky charm incarnate.

I just sat and survived the ride.

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