The Whip

So while in Nantes I have mastered (I use this term loosely) a new skill: driving a manual car!

Last year in Austria I think I tried driving the stick shift 5 or 6 times. I wasn’t a failure at all, but definitely didn’t have the confidence or ability to really hit the open road… or drive to practice. So while I was home in the states, my wonderful neighbor Kathy McCormick helped me out a few extra times to get the hang of it. Really I took a crash course the week before I left for France, but I was able to drive out on the real road- with other cars around me and everything!

Getting to France, I knew they were hoping expecting me to be able to drive, or at least one of the Americans since we’re living together. We have 2 cars for 4 of us to use. One is a brand new one (we basically drive a new car before it is sold, and then we get another one) and the other is… old. Really old.

Bertha was given to us with a whole lot of duck poop on the windshield. Seemed fitting.

We named her Bertha, and what’s crazy is that she was called Bertha 2 years ago by other Americans that have played here! We had no clue until we mentioned the name to our other teammate who has been here for a few seasons. Nutty!

I may have been more scared of Bertha than necessary, she is old but experienced. I drove her around for about a week before really feeling comfortable with the whole stick-shift-on-my-own thing and being able to put a new car at risk. I have done my fair share of stalling and jumping, but the numbers have decreased a TON since the first week I was here- Yay!

The funniest thing about Bertha though is how she starts. We literally have to wait 30 seconds for her to inflate and lift up before we can drive. I don’t know why or how or what, but otherwise she makes some funny noises.

It’s a little tough to see but here’s a vid of Bertha making lift off:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlNe2VG3Vb4&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Our first new car (we have a different one now). Quite the difference from Bertha

 

See ya on the road 😉

 

 

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